Cheap Data: Telcos jostle for market leadership

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By Odunewu Segun

Bandwidth, a major ingredient for telecommunications service delivery especially for data and video, which was before now priced of out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians, has become affordable, with service providers coming up with new and exciting offers for their customers.

There was a time when 1,000 could only get you 200mb at best on any decent network. Airtel was the first of the four major telcos to adjust its data plans for the ‘cheap’ Android market. It was offering 2.5GB for 1500 and 4.5GB for 3000 on BlackBerry phones but, unofficially, it could be applied on Android too. It became so popular among Android users that Airtel had to make it official.

However, due its poor network, not many people migrate to Airtel to enjoy these new data plans.

Glo followed Airtel’s lead with an even more enticing package. It was offering plans so cheap that one could get 12GB of internet data for 5000.

In the middle of this data plan revolution, MTN and Etisalat refused to bulge. Their data plans remained as expensive as before. However, with the increasing amount of mobile phone internet users in Nigeria and the growing importance of social media access, they finally saw the light.

In 2016, Etisalat, now 9 mobile also joined the 1.5GB for N1000 and 3.5GB for N2000. However, its 5GB, 8GB and 10GB plans are still stuck at N6500, N8000 and N10000 respectively.

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At the moment, the competition is particularly tough among Glo and 9mobile, but Glo seems to offers a bigger variety of plans and the bonus makes it all the more ‘mouthwatering’ and interesting. However, both seem to both share the challenge of having a max of 30 days validity period for their data plans.

At N50, Glo offers data 15MB with 100% bonus, valid for a day while at the same price, 9mobile offers 0MB valid for a day. At N100, Glo offers 35MB with 100% bonus, valid for a day and 9mobile at the same value and validity offers 40MB. N200 can get 100MB data valid for 5 days with 100% bonus with Glo and 150MB valid for 7 days with 9mobile.Glo offers 800MB with 100% bonus at N500 valid for 10 days. At the same value, 9mobile offers 500MB valid for 30 days.

Other Glo data plans and their rates include; 1.6GB at N1,000, 3.75GB at N2,000, 5GB at N2,500, 6GB at N3,000, 8GB at N4,000, 12GB at N5,000, 16GB at N8,000, 23GB at N10,000, 30GB at N15,000 and 45GB at N18,000, all valid for 30 days.

Why 9mobile offers 1GB at N1000, 1.5GB at N1, 200, 2.5GB at N2, 000, 4GB at N3, 000, 5.5GB at N4, 000, and 11.5GB at N8, 000, all valid for 30 days. 9mobile network also has special night and weekend data plan offers.

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