The Terrible Price Of An “Unlimited Internet Service” In Nigeria
Every Nigerian in Nigeria would wish for a 24 / 7 unlimited internet service that would allow him or her access the internet without any restriction, and at a cheap price. Mind you, I’m not referring to the service most networks in Nigeria offer, that allows you to send “unlimited” WhatsApp messages with your phone. I’m referring to an unlimited internet service that can allow me to watch videos online, upload contents online, and download all the freeware software’s I need for my PC, without having to worry about my Megabytes(MB) or data plan.
My siblings and I spent our 2014 summer vacation in Nigeria. My mum knew she needed to provide an unlimited internet service (Wi-Fi) for us, since we all use the internet almost every day.
She searched for a network that offered an unlimited internet access around the area we lived. But to our surprise, she couldn’t find one. MTN, Glo, , which are the largest networks in the country couldn’t even offer that.
The ones that said they offered an unlimited internet service (at a high price) were not saying the truth. 200 or 300 gigabytes of data is still not an unlimited data plan.
She had to settle for a limited data plan (20 GB) with Visaphone which was what she was recommended. Visaphone happened to be the network mostly used in the area we live because it was relatively cheaper and reliable as compared to other networks. The cost (at 13,000 Naira) for a 20GB Visaphone data plan is exuberant, even though it’s cheaper than other networks. The funny thing is that this data plan barely lasts less than 2 weeks for us. Note: We tried our best not to download or stream videos online.
Comparison to other West African countries
As a person who has lived in smaller West African countries like Togo, and Ghana, I’d say the price of an “unlimited” internet access in Nigeria is high as compared to other West African countries such as Togo and Ghana.
Togo provided a reliable, unlimited internet access for a cheap price during my short stay in 2013. I spent less than 5000 Naira per month for a “fast” internet service while in the country. Another interesting fact is, my subscription didn’t always expire at the end of the month. It usually stayed for about 3 days or more before it expired. So technically I paid less than 5000 Naira for more than a month unlimited internet service.
Come to Nigeria in 2013 and even today, where would you find an internet service with such offer? Not a place! This is terrible, especially considering the fact that Nigeria has one of the largest number of internet users in the Africa.
I’ve not been to Ghana for some time, so I asked some of my pals on Facebook for the monthly prices of unlimited internet service in Ghana. Surprisingly, their answers were very similar to that of Togo.
Pal 1: Tigo, 1 Cedi (less than 100 Naira) per day!
Pal 2: Tigo: 30 Ghc for Tigo, and 150 GHc or 80 GHc for MTN.
Ghana is currently going through serious financial problems, but it’s surprising that telecommunication networks still offer an unlimited internet access at that cheap price amidst the harsh economic situation in the country.
I discussed this problem with someone and he told me it was because of the high demand of internet service in Nigeria. Well, I thought, “those guys want to maximize their revenue at the expense of internet users in Nigeria.”
xpense of internet users in Nigeria. Period.”