As a frequent blogger and someone who subscribes to a few premium financial and news websites, its not uncommon to want to be online 24/7 and at anywhere in the world. To do achieve that can be quite costly especially if you use sophisticated smart phones, like an iPhone or an Android and also reside in a WiFi zone. I am currently very wired, with a WiFi at home and at work, both locations that take nearly 18 hours of my time daily.The remaining six hours however still necessitate that I remain online via a 3G network that is “faster” and can download larger content. This has however proven to be a very very expensive lifestyle. Here is my experience;
I use a WiFi internet subscription service provided by IPNX. I use a plan that enables me browse unlimited between 3pm to 9am on Mon to Friday and 24hrs weekends and on public holidays. It cost about N9,000 every month. Service on a scale of 10 is about 5 and works pretty fine when the network is up and running. Unfortunately, it is down 40% of the time.
I have access to a free WiFi Internet service whenever I am at work. It works pretty fine and downloads very fast. I understand it is a service that relies on an underground fibre optic cable. I use this service for 9-12 hours every working day for free.
On the Go/?Comparisons
This is where it gets crunchy. I use MTN’s 3G Data Plan on my iPhone and it cost me about N8,000 a month for a 5GB Data Plan. For N3k you can get a 1GB data plan. So for 37.5% of the price of a 5GB data plan you get 20% of the plan (1GB). As expected the 1GB hardly last beyond 10 days and that is with strict data usage. That in my opinion is a clear rip off by MTN and a demonstration of price being insensitive. The irony here is, for almost two years, since I started using this data plan, I have never used above 3.5GB regardless of how many Youtube Videos I stream (and I am a heavy user). To make matters worse, there is no other plan between the 1GB and 5GB plan. Not even 3GB!!!
It is pretty obvious from above to know which network offers the cheapest data plan for you. For the plan I currently use (1GB) Airtel is cheaper by N500. However, Etisalat seems to give me better options for my money. Since I use an average data usage of 2.5GB to 3GB monthly, parting with N6,500 doesn’t seems reasonable rather then parting with N8,000 for an extra 2GB that I never get to use. Etisalat also gives you a 6GB option for a N8,000, same price MTN and Airtel gives for a 5GB option. Glo only offers 1.5GB from amongst the plans I referenced. For someone who may wish to use a cellphone as a modem for ipads or even computers it makes all the sense to go for the 6GB Etisalat option.