This post was most recently updated on May 3rd, 2019
Next year, the world will witness the first 5G network(I don’t know it is going be Qualcomm or Huawei that will first release a supported CPU). Unfortunately, Nigeria still continues to suffer unstable connection on most of its 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 small and the execution or let us call it propagation highly unstable. Generally, we have a few 4G Supported Networks in Nigeria.
Only some commercial cities of certain states of the federal republic of Nigeria can boast of the 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 relevant information about the 4G network in Nigeria.
Related to this topic:
- 3 things that will change after the introduction of 5G Technology
- Comparative Analysis of Mobile Internet Data Plans in Nigeria – Which will you go for?
What does 4G LTE Mean?
Apparently, it is necessary to know the definition of the term “4G” before narrowing it down to how it works in Nigeria. it is time to define the term 4g LTE as well as explaining the relationship between 4G and LTE.
The term 4G LTE is a two-term word. “4G” means the fourth generation of data technology for cellular networks ̶ following 3G, the third generation. While LTE stands for “Long Term Evolution” and is short for a very technical process for high-speed data for phones and other mobile devices.
What is 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
In what ways is 4G LTE better, and what are the disadvantages compare to the 3G?
Basically, 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(3G) network can top out at 70 Mbps.
Technically, 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;
- First, of, 4G LTE network tends to make your phone get hotter than while using it with a 3G. This is especially the case when the network is not stable or when you are in a hot environment.
- Secondly, some internet service providers offer a higher fee for 4g subscription.
- Thirdly, if you are using your 4G LTE in an area with weak coverage, your battery life may suffer in comparison to 3G.takenote that 2g consumes the least battery.
- Finally, 4G currently covers fewer locations than 3g(Especially in developing countries)
Frequency Bands of the 4G LTE Network Worldwide
We have different types of 4g frequency 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 Supported Networks in Nigeria
Of all the GSM networks that support 4G LTE, MTN & 9mobile jointly has the widest 4G LTE Frequency band that is supported by most SmartPhones. However, Network with the fastest speed is not any of the popular GSM networks. On the contrary, you will have to choose between smile, ntel and other not too popular names. Spectranet is not the fastest. In fact, GLO 4G is faster than that of spectranet in most cases. Luckily, Spectranet offers the cheapest 4G LTE data subscription at the moment.
In no particular order, below are the list of all Mobile operators with 4G in Nigeria
- Airtel website(Her speed is not up to 4G. It has a max of 3.75G)
- Stable and supports a wide range of 4G devices is MTN Nigeria Network
- Glo Mobile Nigeria has an unpopular 4G LTE band. Please ensure your phone is supported
- 9Mobile Nigeria offers the fastest 3G and is still hold its own with 4G
- Spectranet Nigeria website
- swift Nigeria website
- smile Nigeria website
- interc Nigeria website
- ntel Nigeria website
- Cyberspace Nigeria website
- Bitflux Nigeria website
4G LTE Supported Networks in Nigeria: Which Device is the Best for the 4G LTE?
If you don’t want to go wrong, I would advise you to first check up the 4G frequency bands that are supported by your phone or internet devices. Let’s say you have a phone in mind, please call your GSM/4G service provider and tell them the phone you are planning to buy, they will let you know if they support it or not. Especially relevant, know the specifications of your desired phone before you make a purchase.
Things are slightly easier if you are planning to use a Wi-Fi router/Mi-Fi to connect to the internet. 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 am personally using an unlocked Huawei router that supports all the major 4G frequency bands in the world.
4G LTE Supported Networks in Nigeria: How can I choose the Best 4G LTE Mi-Fi or Wi-Fi, Router?
You can choose the best 4G Modem or router in two ways. The first method is for you to contact the manufacturer and ask him/her what network bands his product supports. The other method is for you to go through the specifications sheet and see if it has the bands that can work in your country.
Currently, I am using a Huawei 4g wifi USB modem(which is an internet USB modem and wifi router combo). My Wi-Fi router has the following Frequency 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;
From the above, you can see that my Unlocked router can work with all the 4G bands in Nigeria including the stubborn GLO Band. However, if I was planning to use the swift network, maybe I wouldn’t have 4g on it when I start using it with swift. In a nutshell, please check the bands before buying any unlocked router.
4G LTE Supported Networks in Nigeria: How to Choose the Best SmartPhones
Practically, every high-end mobile phone supports 4g LTE. For example, Samsung Note9, S9, s8, s7, s6 and other Samsungs models do. Apple iPhone from iPhone 5S, 6, 6s, 7, 7 plus, to iPhone xs max all support the 4g LTE Network. Summarily, every high configuration Smartphone now supports 4G. Includes some Chinese phones like tecno,infinix,(E.g 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) and the likes.
How to get the 4G Frequency band support of all Brand-name Smartphones
By brand-name, I mean those phones whose manufacturers are well-known. These manufacturers are already very popular in the mobile phone industry worldwide. They are not limited to a particular market or region.
You can get the 4G LTE frequency bands of all brand name phones like Samsung, apple, blackberry, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, LG, Huawei, Lenovo, hp, ZTE, Oppo, one plus and so on. To start this, please visit www.gsmarena.com or a similar site and search for the phone’s specifications. All other things being equal, you must see something like what is in my image below. I use an 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.
Coverage areas of Network Operators that Supports 4G LTE Network 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. Alternative you can call their call center or browse their website for information.
In spite of this, I will give you a scanty view of cities and locations where you might find 4G LTE Signal. MTN and Glo have a wider coverage which you can get by dialling *777#. Spectranet has Portharcourt, Abuja, Lagos and a few other big cities.
Ntel – Lagos, Abuja. Side note 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 to activate or switch to 4G LTE Network on your Phone
For all network providers like MTN and GLO. 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 9Mobile, 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 an 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 visit their office and make your interest known to them. 4G LTE data is not also more expensive than 3g data for all the current network providers in Nigeria.