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Which data network is best for you?

Which data network is best for you?
Recently, I stumbled upon a Nokia 3310 and an MTN SIM pack receipt bought in the early 2000s amounting to #37,500. Relating my finding to a friend, he told me of how his dad's first phone and an Econet SIM pack cost about #55, 000. It sounds unbelievable, how much we have come in telecommunications compliance in such a relatively short time.

These past years, the cost of internet data bundles among major telecommunications service providers in the country has taken a nose dive that may continue in the foreseeable future. Just less a year ago, data sold for more than two times the amount it's currently selling on certain Telecommunication Service Providers (TSP).

Usually, the tone is set by either Glo or Airtel, with the others following suit, Etisalat and MTN have often had a knack for standing their grounds until perhaps recently. The reasons for this crash in data pricing may be numerous but some are more evident:

Networks are struggling for customer base: MTN used to be the one who garnered the highest customer base by a far cry and didn't have to worry much about keeping customers but recent statistics show that although still maintaining the largest share of the market, MTN is fast loosing customer who have either gone inactive or ported to another network, no longer can any TSP go to sleep – competitive prices must be maintained.

Removal of the data floor price limit on internet service providers: NCC had removed a lower price limit on internet subscription – this was well received and meant that an ISP can go as low as it can afford to in the cost of data bundles. Earlier this year however, the commission decided to reinstate a lower price limit meaning that a price will be given below which ISPs cannot go in offering data packages, this was meant with stern outcry by Nigerians, this action was consequently suspended by the commission, this meant that the status quo is maintained and networks can continue to see how low they can go in the cost of their data bundles.

Which data network is best for you?

Other means of internet connectivity: From workplace internet Wi-Fi services at blazing speeds to free internet offered at malls and recreational centers, by tech hubs and even individuals like Flobyt by Don-jazzy, Dele Odufuye and others, to internet service offered by whole estates and residential areas and institutions of learning to the popularity of Wi-Fi modems, radios or routers in homes. Sources of internet connectivity is increasing and improving by the day, the popularity of ISPs that do not offer regular telephone services like the popular network providers have not helped the lot of the traditional providers. More people are neglecting subscribing for data service on their phone, preferring to meet most of their data needs within the time they spend at work or using routers and Wi-Fi modems within their homes. The imperative on network providers to keep whatever might be left of their customary subscribers owing to the flood of ISPs may in part account for the continuous reduction in prices of data.

It's easily obvious that the downward trend in the pricing of internet data in the country is not as much a desired phenomenon as it is a necessary one on the part of the networks.

Where we are

Data is still relatively expensive in Nigeria, the high cost of running and maintaining facilities especially occasioned by the lack of electricity may account largely for this but it is expected that prices will still go down.

Even though the crash in data price is impressive, further crashes are still expected given that variables that have caused this crash are still in the positives, with the popularity of multiple SIM phones, it is easier for customers to move back and forth between different platforms with ease depending on which serves him mist efficiently at the present time, this should also force network providers to improve the quality of service provided and not just improve pricing.

Which data network is best for you?

Way to go?

The chief beneficiary in all of these change and scrabble for customer loyalty is the consumer. To get the most out of this competition, consumer must understand what plan on what platform meets his need most efficiently, in economic terms who offers the best service at the cheapest i.e. the lowest utility price ratio. Usually most platforms alternate between providing more data volume with shorter life cycle or smaller data volume and an extended usage period, the choice of the consumer largely depends on what he does with his internet. In the case of users who download and upload a lot of files and/or data, it will be best to subscribe to the shorter validity cycle but larger volume alternatives, upon exhausting the data, subscriber can reset data and re-subscribe even within the previous time period, consumers who make more passive or social usage of the internet will be better served by the extended time bundles. Network providers have also included the twist of time bundles, varying between 2 hours connection time valid for 24 hours and as much as 300 hours valid for 30 days, the problem with time bundles especially those with limited validity period is that networks may very poor for many hours or days in certain instances, in this case the subscriber mostly loses all of the subscription and for users of smart phones who may need to stay constantly connected to the internet, it is a No, No!

The type of data plan and network is also greatly influenced by the strength of network signal in consumer's environment.

So while almost all other sectors seem to be groaning under the siege of biting and sustained inflation, the prices of data and Telecommunications services as a whole seem to be on the downward drive.

It is yours to enjoy, below are the lists of current all day data charges for the major networks to help you compare and select which will serve you best, be warned it may just get cheaper tomorrow!

Network provider: Glo

Data volume Cost (NGN) Validity Subscription code

100MB 100 24 hours *127*51# Or SMS “51″ to 127

200MB 200 24 hours *127*56# or SMS “56” to 127

1.6GB 500 7 days *127*57# or SMS “57” to 127

3.2GB 1000 30 days *127*53# or SMS “55” to 127

7.5GB 2000 30 days *127*55# or SMS “55” to 127

10GB 2500 30 days *127*58# or SMS “58” to 127

12GB 3000 30 days *127*54# or SMS “54” to 127

18GB 4000 30 days *127*59# or SMS “59” to 127

Network provider: Airtel

Data volume Cost (NGN) Validity Subscription code

50MB 300 24 hours *412#

750MB 500 7 days *418#

1.5GB 1500 30 days *418#

3.5GB 2000 30 days *437#

5GB 2500 30 days *437*1#

7GB 3500 30 days *438#

12GB 5000 30 days *452#

Network provider: Etisalat

Data volume Cost (NGN) Validity Subscription code

50MB 100 24 hours *229*3*1#

200MB 200 7 days *229*2*10#

500MB 500 30 days *229*2*7#

3.5GB 2000 30 days *229*2*8#

6.5GB 3500 30 days *229*2*9#

16GB 8000 30 days *229*2*5#

Network provider: MTN

Data volume Cost (NGN) Validity Subscription code

100MB 200 7 days *113# or SMS “113” to 131

500MB 750 7 days *103# or SMS “103” to 131

1.5GB 1000 30 days *110# or SMS “110” to 131

10GB 5000 30 days *116# or SMS “116” to 131

22GB 10000 30 days *117# or SMS “117” to 131

What has been your experience using these networks, which works best for you? Let's hear from you.

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Recent Replies (3)

Etisalat and Airtel are the best network services - Eze@gmail.com
This comparison is exactly what I have been looking for. Nice one OP - yayahdrs8@gmail.com
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