Which mobile network is cheapest for calls, BIS and internet?


I remember when Etisalat just launched its mobile network in Nigeria (2008, right?), I believed no one will ditch his MTN, Celtel or Glo line for it. In a way I was right, nowadays everyone simply adds to the SIMs he already has and not swap them out.
The new dilemma now is to make the best of each mobile network you have its SIM and believe me, it can be a full-time job if you don't want the awkward feeling that comes with getting to know that you could spend half of your current daily call cost to make the same calls using your idle Etisalat (or any other) line. All the numerous plans and packages the mobile networks have are too confusing to fully grasp. 

But in this post I will give you tips that will help you max out your numerous SIMs, with focus primarily on call cost, BIS and Internet Data bundle.
Let's start with calls. From my analysis Glo is the cheapest for calls. With Glo's infinto package, you'll make calls at a flat rate of 25k/s to all networks in Nigeria, and don't get me started on their international call rates, it's unarguably the cheapest at N15/min to China, UK, USA and (can't remember others). Though, Etisalat also brandishes a 25k/s call rate, but it's with a daily access fee of N20. Only MTN comes close (and could be cheaper if you only call MTN numbers and call for long too), after you get charged at 58k/s for the first minute your subsequent charge becomes 17k/s to other MTN lines and 35k/s to other networks. But don't be deceived, to beat Glo's charges you'll need to make more than a 6min MTN-MTN call or else the initial 58k/s will give an average call cost of more than 25k/s. Just stick to Glo and you won't have to ask for everyone's MTN number only. Oh! As for Airtel, their plans are never short of vague to me and can never beat Etisalat, which Glo now beats. So just leave Airtel out of it.

For BIS: A word of caution, even if Glo is offering its BIS at N100/month, stay clear of it! Glo's internet service is the worst in Nigeria, worse than most cybercafes (but if you don't mind being out of service for three straight days, then by all means go for it!). Since nearly everyone uses (or hope to use) BB Torch 4 and Bold 7, you will need a network provider with large 3G coverage to get a reasonable delight of your BB. In this case (till Glo reforms) MTN is the obvious winner. Don't argue with me, 'cos you won't know what you are missing till you use MTN BIS. Forget about the buy 2 months BIS and get 1 month free promo or the N1800/month BIS promos by other Providers, I could as well put up a cybercafe with my Visafone Internet Modem and sell 1hr for N50. 

For Internet: If the Etisalat HSPA+ network has as little as a toe in your room, go for it! But for the rest of us in Nigeria, Glo has the best 3G coverage and speed. Though you might need to have a backup data card of another network provider, it still doesn't outweigh Glo's amazing speed and coverage. This time around, you are permitted to argue with me. Just visit my post on using one data card for different networks.

Finally, to migrate to glo infinito just dail *100*9*1# (with special benefit of talking to a Glo number of your choice at 2k/s all day long) or *100*9*2# (with special benefit of talking to 5 Glo numbers of your choice at 18k/s all day long). 
I also know that Glo has a plan similar to MTN's, that allows you to talk at 45k/s for the first minute, then 15k/s to Glo and 25k/s to other networks. Well, if all your friends, family and business colleagues use Glo, go for it! But we all know that will be possible only in a Nigeria not on planet Earth. So, just stick to the infinito I gave you. 
Remember the days, Glo was doing free Glo to Glo calls all day long at a daily fee of N25. MTN's network will catch fire if it tries it for half a day!

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  1. This is the most helpful info I have found on this subject. Thanks. Now bookmarking this blog. Awesome!!!

  2. Thanks Mister Sinister!

    I will update soon and make it more relevant to current state of things.

  3. in another post, you mentioned using an airtel postpaid line. I used to have a glo postpaid but got crazy when in 2011 they started this crazy billing thing, like NEPA/PHCN.

    which carrier and postpaid package would you advise today?

  4. I realise you're just a glo fan. Nothing comes close to etisalat browsing speed and clear call quality. MTN BIS SUCKS. Airtel is even better when it comes to internet speed and rates than glo . As at when am writing this, airtel and etisalat gives you 30% extra data for all their subscription. And pls pls pls. Even a dead man knows that etisalat has the best Bis plan @ 1k and 1, 500 k respectively. Stop hyping glo jor

  5. Thank you for this post. Its really helpful.

    Olafusi Kolawole


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