Unlimited data plans are defined as those bundles which are not restricted to any value. They are attributed no value but are however constrained to a duration and oftentimes period of usage also.
Bundles of these nature gives users an unmetered freedom of access to the internet until the span of bundle's duration is exhausted. This is unrealistic in the Nigerian scene due to several reasons. Here, bundles labelled ‘unlimited’ are either speed throttled or restricted to certain period of time by telecom operators, the periods of which are made inconvenient to the users.
Although the name ‘unlimited’ is retained by some telcos for bundles whose properties are not similar to what should be considered an ‘unlimited plan,’ some operators do attribute the label to some of it bundles sharing no characteristics of an ‘unlimited plan’. The following write-up tries to examine such bundles, and other similar plans all of which are sought after by subscribers.
MTN Unlimited Data Plans
MTN had an unlimited plan which offered each subscriber an unfettered access to the internet for just a day.
Although unlimited in its entirety, the plan was restricted to only selected subscribers. The plan went for a price of N150, and was activated using the USSD code: *567*59#. Upon dialling such, a pop-up menu would direct you to activate the plan by sending the digit, “1”.
An alternative to the above bundle is the MTN 1GB For 200 Naira Data Plan. This plan isn't an unlimited bundle but provides a valuable amount of internet data to be used for some few days. This is activated by simply dialling *131*65*2# or *567#.
Another alternative to the plan is the MTN Data4me bundle. The Data4me bundle is a subset of a larger MTN4ME packages which has included different recharge offers. Bonuses obtainable on the MTN Data4me offer includes: 10MB for N2 naira; 75MB for N20; 200MB for N50 naira; and 1GB for N200 naira. The shortcomings of the Data4me bundle is that the bundle is for selected subscribers for a specific period of time. The MTN brand is the largest in the country, with about 40% of the total voice subscribers among the four major operators.
Airtel Unlimited Data Plans
Airtel is currently Nigeria's second largest telecom operator. The operator in time past offered to it's subscribers unlimited bundles but discontinued it. The plan was remodelled to offer a heavy data at a good pricing but valid for a specified period. The supposedly unlimited bundles are stacked into four categories namely: ‘Unlimited Ultra Weekly’, ‘Unlimited Ultra Standard’, ‘Unlimited Ultra Diamond’ and ‘Unlimited Ultra Platinum’
The Unlimited Ultra weekly offers 30GB at a N5,000 price. This supposedly unlimited bundle is valid for just seven days and comes with a fair usage policy of 30GB plus 1GB data daily after the fair usage policy. Unlimited ultra standard costs subscribers N20,000 and is valid for 30 days with a fair usage policy of 130GB plus 3GB data daily after the fair usage policy.
Others are the Unlimited ultra diamond, which can be purchased for N30,000 and unlimited ultra platinum which go for N60,000 only. Both plans are valid for 30 days with a fair usage policy of 210 GB and 550 GB respectively in addition to a daily 3GB data after the fair user policy is exceeded. The Unlimited Ultra bundles could be activated by dialling *370#.
Airtel currently runs an offer which is similar to the MTN Data4me. The offers which is conditional on each subscriber could be activated by dialing *141*242#.
Glo Unlimited Data Plans
Glo is the third largest telecom operator in Nigeria, as at the time of making this post. The telco boasts of being the largest data provider, with cheap value of internet data at a specified pricing.
Globacom does not offer any unlimited data plan but has no match to its excellent data bundles. Glo data plans
are the cheapest, and to subscribe to it, one needs to dial *777# then select “data” among the listed options in order to access the array of bundles.
Some bundles offered by the indigenous operator includes a N1,500 plan offering a 3.5GB data paired up with a 600MB data usable only during the night. There's also a 9GB plus 1GB night data priced for N3,000 and valid for thirty days. Meanwhile, like other telecom operators, Globacom has several mega data bundles as well, and although they couldn't be considered an “unlimited data plan,” they offer bundles which are of value.
9mobile Unlimited Data Plans
The 9mobile franchise doesn't have any unlimited data bundle under it's data pack. The operator however could boast of a three & four months data bundle, and this is most times considered to be an unlimited bundle from the operator. N27,500 gives a data bundle of 30GB, while N55,000 offers a bundle size of 60GB. Both bundles is usable for 90 days(three months) and 120 days(four months) respectively. Subscription to the bundles is done by dialling *229*5*1# and *229*5*2# for the first and second bundle respectively.
Aside the heavy data plans, there are some lightweight bundles which still provides the needed package of value. The 9mobile data plans
arrays some reasonable data products for each class of subscriber.
In conclusion, there are no unlimited data plans in Nigeria, that is, speaking of bundles bearing the characteristics of an ideal unlimited plan. The reason for this may not be far from the high operational costs of telecommunication in the country. Nevertheless, the above-listed value plans could suffice in the absence of the other.