In Nigeria as of today, we have at least 10 internet service providers of which four out of them are the popular mobile network/isp companies. Today, am going to give a critical and unbiased analysis of the four mobile network provider that we have in Nigeria and this post will serve as a reference point for all poor/ common men like myself when they are taking a decision on which network data plan to subscribe to. I used to be a die hard fanboy of mtn data plans because of their consistency, reliability and modest bandwidth / data meter. The story has changed now as you will soon find out. I will be rating these networks along the following parameters: Coverage, Price, reliability, stability, speed, data allocation, easy of use, fair usage, bandwidth meter

Disclaimer: This information in this post is 100% correct as at the time of posting. I shall not be held liable for any loss suffered due to changes made by any of the network providers mentioned here in the nearest future. In other words, if I rate Mtn over Airtel today and tomorrow, airtel reclaimed their top post, please do not blame me for this because obviously, this is beyond my control. Also for the records, Etisalat Nigeria has changed name and ownership. The company is now being referred to as 9mobile

which data plan is the best in Nigeria?


Like I said earlier, am not discussing the new entrants which focus on 4g only and with limited national coverage.


When it comes to the prices, all four networks offer virtually the same price with little differences in their time-based subscription. When it comes to prices on paper, Glo mobile slightly comes up on top with their #500 for 3gb weekend plan. However, practically, they all have a uniform cost of subscription. They all have very small money data plans and huge money data plans. Ratings: Glo= 100/100, Airtel 99/100, MTN= 98/100 and etisala/9mobile= 85/100. So when every other factor is equal except price, you shpould go for glo. WINNER: GLO MOBILE NIGERIA


This is a very tricky one. This particular factor is the reason why every Nigerian is not using a 4g network. Coverage is also subdivided. We have 4g network and 3g network. If you need 4g network in any of these networks, I will sincerely ask you to fully confirm its coverage in your area. I am focusing on 3g network here. Overall MTN has the widest network coverage and that is why it is called “everywhere you go”. This is closely followed by Glo, then Airtel and Etisalat.It also depends on your geopolitical zone. MTN reign supreme in most southwestern states and they dominate the east. Glo favours most Northern states and few south southern states. Etisalat and irtel try to balance things up.  Ratings: In general, MTNNigeria has the widest coverage although is some few occasions, the signal may be weak in some areas. However, even with 1 network bar on an mtn line, you can steal browse. MTN= 90%, GLO= 86%, AIRTEL = 81%, Etisalat/ 9mobile = 80%. WINNER: MTN NIGERIA


This is one reason why I have slaved after mtn for years despite some of their cut throats charges at times. MTN is very very reliable and no double about this. Mtn data network to the extent that even with their 2g you can still do loads. If their network is having just one bar on 3g, it will outperform glo’s full bar network. It is very difficult for mtn data to go off indefinitely anywhere it is available. RATINGS: MTN= 95%, ETISALAT(AS of today) = 92%, Airtel= 83% and glo = 55%(How i wish i can give glo 0%. Glo network is extremely unreliable. all they do is to pump money on celebrities for PR purposes. I mean everything is zero if the network is not reliable at least by 70%. If you want a network that will be there for you like all of the time, choose mtn or etisalat or Airtel. Glo once went off on me for 7days. It was absurd. WINNER: MTN NIGERIA


To me, speed and reliability come even before the price. I am an internet resource person who needs to be online always. This is a tricky one to judge but I will break it down to the simplest form. Generally or overall, Etisalat is the fastest. Now the second position goes to both Airtel and mtn. Glo is only very fast in the dead of the night(I guess they want you to keep vigil to be able to get the value for your money) Glo’s case is so pathetic because they have the money to spend on improving their services but they will rather spend it on shows and promotion. Please, what are they promoting? During peak periods in most locations in Nigeria, glo is near unusable. Another fact is that the speed of data transfer is dependent on the location. You may be getting 345kps in ibadan on mtn while you get 450kps in Lagos. And for downloading, Etisalat/9mobile  is the fastest while glo comes second if you are downloading with it between 11pm to 400am. The ratings are as follows overall. RATINGS: Etisalat=90%, Airtel=85%, MTN=80% and glo =73%(I gave glo 73 because of its execptional speed on 3g during off peak periods). WINNER: ETISALAT / 9MOBILE(this can change tomorrow because of change of ownership)


This the area where these guys are ripping us apart and robbing us of our hard earned money. These guys are doing the same thing some petrol stations were doing prior to the removal of subsidy on petrol. The first network to use a very bad data calculator to cheat unsuspecting customers is Glo. Way back when glo was still the fastest, if you buy 1gb of data and use just 50mb out of it and you off your data, the next time you check your data, you would see650mb. where is 300mb? who used it?. Eventually, the baton was passed on onto Airtel. Aitel at its wicked prime wipes your data ruthlessly. if you buy 1.5gb of data from Airtel, just know that the actual data giving to you is #750mb. You will not know how you are being billed. Now an, most unfortunately, MTN Nigeria has gotten the bug. MTN is now currently having the worst billing meter for their data. for your data to be reducing, all you need is to keep checking your balance after every light browsing and you will see it going down before your eyes and you will be helpless. This billing is so bad that if you have a 1gb data plan, trust me, you won’t be able to download a file of 700mb successfully be for you run out of data. Now when someone like me is analysing network, it means I have done a thorough research. I have all four networks and I interchange them(I do not have a 4g network coverage in my location yet). RATING: GLO= 99.4%, AIRTEL= 85%, ETISALAT= 79% and MTN= 62%(This rating may change tomorrow when it does, i will update the house). OVERWHELMING WINNER: GLO MOBILE NIGERIA


Literally, Glo wins this race. I mean with just #1,000 you can get 3.2gb worth of data(terms and conditions applies and which is that you must resubscribe before your time lapses) However, what glo gives you may be useless due to their despicable service. followed by glo currently and until the next 5 or six months is Airtel. The worst or most stingy network in terms of data allocation is Etisala. I pray they change their ways with the new owners. For you to get glo data plan, dial *777#, for mtn dial *131#, for airtel 100% double data, dial *144# and for Etisalat /9mobile dial *229#. RATINGS: GLO = 97%, AIRTEL= 96%, MTN = 78%, ETISALAT / 9MOBILE = 70%. This is also subject to changes without notice but I do not see any network displacing glo just yet.Airtel is announcing an unlimited plan, let us see what happens when it is fully launched. WINNER: GLO MOBILE 


Mtn is the most stable both with the data and voice service. Etisalat follows closely. ratings: MTN= 95%, Etisalat=93%, Airtel=88%, GLO = 56%. WINNER: MTN NIGERIA



If you reside in Lagos where we have all the 10 data networks in Nigeria, I will advise you to go for the cheapest 4g lte data plan. The worst 4g is faster than the best 3g. However, we are dealing strictly with 3g networks by the four providers that we have been mentioning their names all through this article. If the following factors are not a problem in your situation; price, speed and coverage, I will ask you to go with Airtel Nigeria and use their current double recharge promo. If you are in some exclusive and special glo zone, go with glo and manage the occasional disappointment that comes with it. If the current extortion is not an issue for you, stick with mtn after all it still remains the most reliable. As for etisalat, it is a neutral kind of network for now. My personal pick as a poor man with no money to waste, I am sticking with airtel considering the fact that I have a good signal quality for all the four networks in my area. If you are in Akwa ibom state especially, Uyo, eket, ibeno, please consider glo as it is extremely strong over there. MTN is currently not giving her customers value for the data subscribed to on their network. Please  share this with your friends and families 



  1. CONVERSION says:

    Thanks so so much for the information, but as much as MTN has ripped off of me in the past few months, i cant leave the network because both glo and airtel networks are bad in my area, and i dont have 4G in my area (but my phone does). I also have an etisalat sim but i dont use it because their data plans do not offer much. Please what do you advice ? I’m speaking from Ibadan. Thanks again.

  2. Location really counts. I live in Ibadan, a very large city. MTN is the worst in my area.

  3. Oloaye Dynasty(Esq) says:

    That is very true broda even me too have try to study all this networks in my own way and am in support of this article,, kudos to you.

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