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Iniobong Umoh: We Want Cheap & Unlimited Data



dreamstime_m_67477106If you ask me, I would say that the GSM service providers operating in this country are working hand in hand to make as much profit as they can get from us subscribers within the shortest possible time.

The CEO of MTN would pick up his phone and call his Etisalat counterpart.

“Bros how far? We wan reduce call tariff from 20k per second to 10 kobo per second beginning from this weekend. I just say make I inform you before we start advert. Give us like…3 weeks make we flex small after then you fit reduce your own reash 7k per second.”

“No wahala bros, we dey your back” Etisalat’s CEO would reply.

Seriously, do you all remember the days when the price of a sim card was N30,000? Those days when anyone who bought a gsm sim card and mobile phone immediately assumed the status of a celebrity? Those were the days when Econet held sway.

Now a sim card goes for N150. What has changed since then? They have made their billions…

Do you remember those days when there was nothing like per second billing? When we were charged like…N120 per minute? Those days, even if the call duration was 5 seconds, you would be charged for a minute. To cut cost, guys made calls, speaking 10,000 words in one minute….Kai!

The GSM service providers argued that it wasn’t possible to do per second billing in Nigeria. But now they are doing per second billing. What has changed between then and now? They have made their billions…

They are working hand in hand, playing us like disco.

This is the age of the internet and we all need data to access the Internet.

Give us cheap unlimited access to the Internet for a month….no way!

Airtel would give you free 15 mb data with high speed internet. You would enjoy the data and then run to subscribe for their 9 gb data plan.

As soon as you subscribe…

Fiam! Network disappears.

With your 9 gb data you would be searching for 3G network on your device to surf the net throughout the month.

Globacom would run and slash the price of their data.

“Insanely cheap data! Get 6gb for N2000, get 10gb for N2500, get 18gb for N4000! For a month!”

You would rush and subscribe.

But as soon as you subscribe, the network signal bar on your phone’s screen will start dancing. The 3G Hspda signal will turn to Edge and then disappear totally. It will appear and disappear after every 10 minutes.

Browsing will now be the equivalent of squeezing water out of a rock…very frustrating something…

By the end of the third week of subscription, you would discover that you have not used up to 400mb data of your 6gb plan because of bad network. At this point you realize that you have been scammed.

You run to Airtel data, you download a 30 mb file and find that 70 mb has been deducted from your data.

Give us unlimited data at N1000 or even N2000 for a month…..No way!

“This is the cheapest data plan in the country!” Airtel shouts and screams to you on their adverts on radio and TV.

“Get 2 gb for N200, 6gb for N500!”

“Very cheap!” You exclaim and run to subscribe.

After subscription, you try to browse but it isn’t working on any of your devices.

Then you read the terms and conditions:

It only works on 2G network.

2G Network?

Really? In 2016?

In this age of smartphones; android, blackberry and ios devices, Airtel wants us to go backward instead of making progress. Airtel wants us to dust up our Nokia 3310, C1, Sagem MyX2, Sony Ericson K510i and symbian phones in order to browse at a cheap rate?

“Hello bro, that stunt worked. So many people have subscribed to the plan in error. We have made so much money from the 2g network cheap data plan” A smiling Airtel Ceo would call his Mtn counterpart.

“Wow! I have to do my own”

“Why not wait for a few weeks before running your advert…let my company make some more money before you join in…” Airtel Ceo would appeal to his MTN counterpart.

“No! We can’t wait! It’s time to make more money!”

The next morning, we would wake to see MTN advert everywhere…

Cheapest data plan in town! Get 1 gb for N20, 40 gb for N300 and 150 gb for N1200! All valid for one month! Subscribe now!

Then in very tiny print, you would see the terms and condition…

‘Available only for Nokia torchlight devices’.

Which service provider would be the first to offer us cheap and unlimited data? Our fingers are crossed.

Photo Credit: Mimagephotography |


  1. Ibex

    August 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    The 10GB Glo data plan of N2500 is working perfectly well. valid for one month. It runs on all devices

    • Sheri

      August 22, 2016 at 7:53 am

      No it doesn’t. Not for everyone. You can hardly use it. I’ve got all this extra data from Glo yet the network is poor! Everything takes ages to load. Horrific tbh. And when I call them they will be telling me the same old recycled lies. Id rather have more expensive but faster, reliable data. Went back to Etisalat.

    • someborri

      August 22, 2016 at 8:45 am

      People like you dont read in between the line. This a humble and stylish plea that at this age and time, data subscription should be affordable and also easy to use. na una type dey spoil market for pepsin

  2. Atebodi Mosi Aisoni

    August 21, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    its like we running some marathan race i have almost all the SIM network available to a Nigeria. One problem mostly forget the term and condition sorry this should be called “Hidden Agenda” . And as Awoof dey run belle na God catch us abi we want cheap cheap things. na double wahala be dat with all this follow follow.

  3. Darius

    August 21, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Your articles always crack me up. I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said. Don’t we have a consumer protection agency in Nigeria? It never occurred to me that these network providers communicate with one another. I have always thought that they are fierce rivals, and that each one of them is firmly committed to ruining the others by wooing their subscribers. This article is indeed an eye-opener. What annoys me most is when they deduct money from my account for subscribing to something when I didn’t subscribe for anything. When you call customer care to retrieve your money, they’ll start telling you tales by moonlight. These big companies will continue to exploit us in the absence of a watchdog.

    • Tosin

      August 22, 2016 at 7:02 am

      There is a consumer protection council
      I read great things about them, but i’ve been trying to get a response (or even an acknowledgement) on a simple (banking-related) issue for months. Fingers crossed, the CBN consumer protection division took like a year to answer so maybe that’s life. 🙂

  4. Xoxo

    August 21, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Looool!!!! I love this article. Very witty. Glo is trying tho and the network is quite good at my side. Airtel has let me down too many times.

  5. The Real Oma

    August 21, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Nothing annoys me like the ‘trap’ MTN sets for me in the name of subscription for one thing or another that typically costs 50naira or 10naira. Every so often i would pick my phone up to use and one such message would be on the screen and of course the tendency is to press ‘Okay’ so it would go away and i can use my phone…i have now learnt my lesson after a number of such useless subscriptions, so that no mater what appears on my screen now, i press ‘Cancel’ but the most annoying thing then happens, the stupid offer comes right back for at least four more times! Sometimes, it repeats so many times that i have to power off my phone just so i can use it!
    Does any other person have this experience with MTN or is it just me? Because honestly if i had money i would sue them for this and also for all those stupid text messages they keep sending – totally unsolicited!

    • BBB

      August 21, 2016 at 11:09 pm


      Send STOP 2442. A Full Do Not Disturb which is SMS “STOP” to 2442 does not allow the subscribers to receive any unsolicited message from the operators at all.

    • The Real Oma

      August 22, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you BBB, I will certainly do so now!

    • mrs chidukane

      August 21, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      I do oh Oma. Mtn is so sneaky.
      Glo has been dealing with me,no network for weeks but I refuse to switch networks until I exhaust my data so we’re still at it. I even called them and they alleged no one has called from my area to complain. I was so flabbergasted because all my friends have switched to airtel and Etisalat. These people are exploiting us ,and may I also use this medium to beg the powers that be to compel dstv to make pay as you watch available to Nigerian subscribers? It is only fair with our erratic power situation. Paying so much for few guaranteed (gen on) viewing time is unfair. I’m considering not renewing my subscription because I don’t see the point anymore.

  6. forreal

    August 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    That was how signal on my phone disappeared since yesterday until I made a call to my network provider this afternoon

  7. Majestic

    August 21, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Lol!! The latest I have noticed with Mtn is that you download 10mb file and 30mb disappears. NCC should step up to monitor these scam like promos. In fact all the networks are the same!

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Yes Majestic, we really need the Ncc to step up and do their work.

  8. Ethio

    August 21, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    lol, so true. i kept subscribing and subscribing till i sat down a few weeks ago to actually calculate how much i had wasted on data bundles alone and it was outrageous! and for what use? hopping from one social media platform to the other, contributing, liking, commenting etc etc the noise was too much in my head. i quickly gave myself a hiatus from the Internet to save money and get my shit together

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Lol Ethio i also did same thing too recently. From time to time, one should sit down and reflect on one’s online activities and the cost in terms of data and time resources. Taking a timely break from the social media is necessary to avoid being choked up and losing control of one’s life.

  9. Pink

    August 21, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Your article is verry true! Sigh* the Nigerian struggle.

  10. kilipot

    August 21, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    ????. Fiam!! No network ????

    Among Etisalat,Airtel, and MTN ( I don’t really know about the cost) in terms of speed, I give it to Etisalat, but there’s a new one in town now o. 10k for unlimited data for a month and it’s fast, but I won’t share until u beg me ???

    • Say the truth

      August 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Look at you feeling cool with yourself. For everyone who’s wondering, it’s NTEL.

    • kilipot

      August 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Hahhahhahaha. U are just a fish ?????

  11. Nonye O.

    August 21, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    I hope we will attain this height someday.Its really unfair that we Nigerians have to pay through our nose to enjoy quality internet services.

  12. sylvester

    August 21, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    MTN Keep on deducting #100 each time I loaded. They keep on pleading when I called d customer care. They are robbing us .

  13. Chris

    August 22, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Why tell lies jus to make ur story interestin… When did u ever pay 120/min. Not in support of d netwrks dat much but weigh ur facts with even developed countries bfr spittin crap like 1000 for unlimited data dummy!

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      @Chris don’t get yourself worked up. This is a satire.

  14. the generous economist

    August 22, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I just couldn’t deal anymore..which I why I just got myself a smile wifi…abeg…sad thing is that smile doesn’t work evrywhere in Nigeria…so for times when I travel to such places..I now have to subscribe to MTN’s shitty network

  15. cuppy1704

    August 22, 2016 at 8:44 am

    @Chris……take darling,a little honey for your bitter soul…Ini has made his point and every open minded reader understood that. It’s not that difficult,your frayed nerves are at it again,you must not transfer aggression…Good morning….Monday blues…..abi are you Mtn or Adenuga.

    • Nv

      August 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Lmao!! Kai!

  16. Ch

    August 22, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Lemme take this from another angle. For those people complaining about how the data flies, I have discovered the “we are the ones doing ourselves” way. Has anybody ever noticed that they belong to a whole lotta groups on Whatsapp, and even those that are not in groups sef, then you receive plenty forwarded videos and pictures and messages, etc. Very very annoying. Mine gets so bad that all the groups I belong to in church, you’ll have the same annoying person sending the same video to like 5 or 6 groups. And you know Whatsapp downloads immediately and also saves automatically. I find this forwarding unsolicited stories and videos quite frustrating. And there are some groups you belong to that you just wanna leave but you don’t want to be tagged negatively for doing so…Any other person feels this way?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 22, 2016 at 9:58 am

      You can disable the option in Whatsapp that automatically saves incoming media.

      Depending on the kind of phone you have, go into the “Group Info” settings for any forum you belong to, scroll down to “save incoming media” and change it from “default” to “never”.

      @Iniobong, your article was hilarious (although I certainly feel your pain – it’s the same gospel I’ve been preaching on this end about O2 being unrepentant criminals… & this is after I remained a loyal customer for 5+ years… praise God for opening my eyes to the better value of 3 Network).

      Plus, you brought back memories of those early GSM days. Mobile phone services have truly come a long way, sha. 🙂

      Enjoy a fruitful and fab week, BN’ers.

    • Ch

      August 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Thanks @Mz Socially Awkward… I use a Samsung Galaxy phone and the process wasn’t exactly as you described but I found it under Data Usage under WhatsApp settings. Many thanks for that.

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you Mz Socially awkward 🙂

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      @Ch i can relate to this. Sometimes you just need to take the bull by the horns and leave such groups!

  17. Fifi

    August 22, 2016 at 10:15 am

    I did the back up for my numbers on MTN thats how every two werks they started deducting 50 naira from my account for backup, i told them to stop that i back up my numbers every 3 months so when im ready ill do my backup manually,they told me send stop to 307, 307 keeps telling me network out of order, infact ive just stopped loading any airtime to mtn,if they are not sending me sim messages, its deducting money, customer service number is a long thing,Airtel daylight robbery with my data subscription which i use as backup when im not with my mifi,

  18. Ella

    August 22, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Mtn is d worse, thinking on d next step. Gives u something with d right hand n takes it back with the left hand.

  19. Princess P

    August 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

    In Nigeria at the moment Etisalat has the best internet network while airtel has the worst
    I have been using etisalat without issues but when I heard of the awoof glo data plan, I bought a glo sim and subscribed.
    Glo network is the most erratic ever….I can only use it successfully from midnight
    It comes and goes during the day, i’m just struggling with it

  20. Peaches77

    August 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Hmm, NTEL is knocking them all off. N10,000 monthly of unlimited Data. NTEL is former MTEL/Nitel so they have the infrastructure. It’s LTE and very fast. If you are frustrated with Spectranet or Smile, NTEL is the way to go.

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      @Peaches77 the only snare is that Ntel is yet to launch their service nationwide. They are still operating only in Lagos, Ph and Abuja.

  21. Cub

    August 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Nope! Whatsapp does not download automatically if you set it not to do so in your settings, which I did. yet the network is just so messed up.

  22. nmbw

    August 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Lool. Loved reading this article. So true and so well put; humorously too

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Thanks nmbw for reading 🙂

  23. miracle

    August 23, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I bought the 6gb data for #2000 on glo.oh my God I almost committed suicide. I couldn’t browse with in the network just disappeared fiam.that was how my data expired. I went to their office and attendant told me she fixed it.I broke the simcard and am using Etisalat now

    • Iniobong Umoh

      August 23, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      That hurts! Sorry bro.

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