About 7 years after the first device using a 4g LTE network was launch, and just about the time the developed countries of the world are planning to start preparing to launch the 5g network, Nigeria still continues to be plagued with an unstable 3G network. We can say it in full confidence that 4G LTE in Nigeria is still a far-fetched luxury. The coverage area is extremely low and the execution or let us call it propagation highly unstable. Only some commercial cities of certain states of the federal republic of Nigeria can boast of 4G LTE signal. Once a situation affects Nigeria, it is most likely going to affect other African countries (maybe with the exception of SA). Today, I will exhaust every information about 4G network in Nigeria and this will include, meaning, usage, activation, coverage and bands. Read along with me.
WHAT IS 4G LTE?
Having discussed the history of 4G technology, it is time to define the term 4g LTE as well as explaining the relationship between 4G and LTE. The term 4G LTE is really two terms. 4G means the fourth generation of data technology for cellular networks ̶ following 3G, the third generation. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is short for a very technical process for high-speed data for phones and other mobile devices. Talking about the relationship between 4G and LTE; 4G was made to replace 3G and it offers a connection that is more reliable and delivers much higher speeds. Specifically, 4G LTE means “fourth-generation long term evolution,” with LTE being a type of 4G that delivers the fastest connection for a mobile internet experience – up to 10 times faster than 3G
WHY 4G LTE: Advantages and disadvantages over the 3G
The simple answer is that a 4G network theoretically will have a higher data transfer rate. With the appropriate amount of spectrum and good network engineering, a Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based network has the potential to reach 100 Mbps, while a WiMAX network can top out at 70 Mbps.
Going more advance a 4G wireless network is a pure data connection: that is, it is an end-to-end Internet Protocol connection. This provides some real advantages, but also some disadvantages. The advantages generally outweigh its disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages are; it tends to make your phone get hotter than while using it with 3g especially when the network is not stable. Some internet service providers offer a higher fee for 4g subscription and finally, 4G currently covers fewer locations than 3g
FREQUENCY BANDS OF THE 4G LTE NETWORK WORLDWIDE
We have different types of 4g freq bands and their categories. No matter where you are the world over, you can get the 4g LTE bands supported in your country by clicking on this link.
LIST OF 4G NETWORK BANDS SUPPORTED IN NIGERIA
Note: When you talk about support among the four major Gsm operators in Nigeria, ETISALAT and MTN have the band that supports most 4g enabled devices. However, the fastest 4g network in Nigeria in terms of speed is not any of our mobile operators. On the contrary, you will have to choose between smile, ntel and other not too popular names. Spectranet is currently the most popular in Nigeria(because of its cheaper fees).
- Airtel website
- MTN Nigeria website
- Glo Mobile Nigeria website
- Etisalat Nigeria website
- Spectranet Nigeria website
- swift Nigeria website
- smile Nigeria website
- interc Nigeria website
- ntel Nigeria website
- Cyberspace Nigeria website
- Bitflux Nigeria website
WHICH DEVICE IS BEST FOR 4G LTE AND HOW TO KNOW SUCH?
If you consult me or which device to use for your 4g LTE needs, I will always advise you to go with an unlocked 4g mobile broadband or router. You may at least buy one from the network service provider of your choice if you cannot get an unlocked one. I was told you can easily unlock spectranet’s router so that it can use another sim card.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST 4G LTE MIFI, ROUTER?
The only way is for you to ask the seller. I mean to go through the specifications and see if it has the bands that can work in your country. I am buying an Huawei 4g wifi USB modem(which is an internet usb modem and wifi router combo) and I have the following bands: LTE FDD: Band1(2100 MHz)/Band3(1800 MHz)/Band5(850 MHz)/Band7(2600 MHz)/Band28(700 MHz) /UMTS: Band1(2100 MHz)/Band5(850 MHz and my target is ntel, mtn glo and Etisalat. I do not know the band Airtel is operating on currently, but it should work for it as well. If my target is swift, maybe I will not have 4g on it when I start using it with swift. In a nutshell: please check the bands before buying the unlocked router as for the company-branded ones, you only need to be concerned about the coverage.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PHONES FOR 4G LTE
Practically, every high-end mobile phone supports 4g LTE. samsung s8, s7, s6 and some other Samsungs. Iphone 7, 6+,6, 6s, 5s supports 4g lte. Other latest flagships of LG like G5, G3, HTC, Sony, Huawei oppo, one plus, Microsoft Lumina and so on. Now, what about middle-range phones and low-end phones, as well as phones that are not brand-name? We have others; Infinix zero 4 plus, umi Z, Tecno phantom 6 plus, infinix hot 4 pro, lenovo k5 note, infinix s2, tecno camon cx air, Gionee f103 Pro, Fero Iris
To get the frequency bands of all brand name phones like Samsung, apple, blackberry, Microsoft, noika, sony, lg, huawei, lenovo, hp, zte, oppe, one plus and so on.. please vist www.gsmarena.com and search for the phone specifications. yu must see something like the example of samsung s7 in the picture below:
Method 2 for all MTK phones: Visit the website of the manufacturer and look up the specifications and the LTE band.
THE COVERAGE AREAS OF 4G LTE NETWORKS IN NIGERIA
I wouldn’t want to deceive you, the best way to determine the actual coverage areas is to visit the office of your network provider, call their call center or browse their website for information. However, I will give you a scanty view of cities and locations where you might find 4G LTE Signal. MTN Airtel and etisalt are mostly limited to Lagos for now. Glo has a wider coverage which you can get by dialling *777#. Spectranet has Portharcourt, Abuja, Lagos and few other big cities.
Ntel – Lagos, Abuja. Side not though, 4G network availability is still patchy on Ntel network in some parts of Lagos so be careful to test for it before you sign up.
Visafone – Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja, Abeokuta, Sagamu, and Kaduna.
Smile – Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja, Benin City, Kaduna, Onitsha, and Asaba. Side Note: Smile currently has the largest 4G footprint in Nigeria.
Swift: Lagos mainly.
Others: lagos majorly.
Note please ask before you buy the router.
HOW CAN I ACTIVATE 4G LTE ON MY PHONE?
For all other network providers like MTN, GLO and airtel. you need to visit their office to either swap your 3g sim for a 4g one or upgrade your 3g sim card to 4g. However, with etisalat, you only need to get a 4g enabled device and perform the following operations:
you can become an Etisalat LTE subscribers with the following simple steps:
- ensure, your 4G LTE device network setting is on auto setting – 4G LTE /3G /2G or
- get a LTE capable device or smartphone
- dial *200# to buy any data plan of your choice or click, http://etisalat.com.ng/easyblaze-data-services/data-plans/#internet-bundles to purchase a plan.
As for other 4G LTE providers, please go to their office. 4G LTE data is not also more expensive than 3g data for all current network providers in Nigeria.