General

Internet Service Plans In Nigeria with Pricing, Validity, Data Cap, and Activation Codes

Internet Access in Nigeria is improving. Today, there are many service providers to choose from. Some of these service providers are crappy in certain locations so it’s important to know what your options are. I was using Starcomms for a while and then switched to MTN. Not only was the service cheaper but it was much faster and reliable. While Starcomms says I have 20GB monthly data cap (though I never got to 2GB) I found that MTN’s service plan makes me more productive even though they have a 3GB cap. Recently, I had course to reconsider using Starcomms, but the painful memories of screaming at customer care for days and long hours I wasted uploading small files made me make a U-turn.

Don’t settle for crappy internet! Find the best for your location and lifestyle and be happy. Here is a list of providers and their service plans. I’ll update as I get more info. Please share your experience with internet providers so we can all learn.

Internet Service Provider Data Plan Data Cap Access Period (If Applicable) Price Validity (Days) Activation

Starcomms EVDO

Purple Always REN 20G 24 hours 15,950 30
EvDO 100 Hrs 20G 24 hours 6,500 30 *242**1234# to 37938
Requires another phone for activation 250 Hrs 20G 24 hours 15,000 90
Dail *121 for customer care Purple Business REN 20G 9am – 9pm 7,000 30 *245**1234# to 37938
Purple Night REN 20G 9pm – 9 am 5000 30
Friendly 8 20G 7-11 am & 7-11pm 6,000 30
Starcomms CDMA 1 Green Always REN 20G 24 hours 10,000 30
CDMA1 Green Business REN 20G 9am – 9pm 7,000 30
Dail *121 Green Night REN 20G 9pm – 9 am 5000 30
Green Corporate REN 20G 24 hours 8,000 30
Green 100 Hours REN 20G 24 hours 5,000 30
Green 250 Hours REN 20G 24 hours 10,000 90
Peak N/A 06.00-23.00 hrs 3/min
Off-Peak N/A 23.00-06.00 hrs 3/min

MTN

Monthly Plan 5G 24 hours 8,000 30 Text 101 to 131
HSPA (3.5GB) Nite 3G 10 pm – 5am 2,500 30 Text 102 to 131
Dial 180, Dial 181 for customer care Daily Plan 50MB 24 hours 500 1 Text 103 to 131
Pay-As-You-Use 24 hours 15 kobo per kilobyte
MicroSIM 3GB 24 hours 10,000 30

Glo HSI

Always Max 5 GB 24 hours 10000 30 Text 12 to 127
HSUPA (3.5GB) Always Min 1.5 GB 24 hours 5000 30 Text 11 to 127
Dial 121 for customer care Always Day 150 MB 24 hours 500 30 Text 10 to 127
Always Micro Text 13 to 127
G300 4 GB 300 Hrs 15000 90 Text 21 to 127
G100 3 GB 100 Hrs 6000 30 Text 20 to 127
G Work 3 GB 8am – 9pm 6000 30 Text 31 to 127
G Leisure 3 GB 8pm – 9am, All Day Weekends 5000 30 Text 30 to 127

Multilinks

MultiLinks AnyTime 6GB 24 hours 9,000
EvDO MultiLinks DayTime 6GB 8am to 8pm 6,000
Requires another phone for activation MultiLinks NightTime 20GB 12am to 8am 3,500
MultiLinks MyTime 250 24 hours 9,900 60
MultiLinks MyTime 100 hours 24 hours 5,600 30
MultiLinks MyTime 50 hours 24 hours 3,400 30

Zain

Zain Day 50 MB 24 hours 500 1 *141*712*3#
HSUPA (3.5GB) Zain Lite 100 MB 24 hours 1,000 30 *141*712*4#
Zain Plus 1 GB 24 hours 5,000 30 *141*712*1#
Zain Max 3 GB 24 hours 10,000 30 *141*712*2#
Zain Premium 6 GB 24 hours 15,000 30 *141*712*5#

Tips

  • MTN’s most annoying issue is that once your service plan expires they immediately start billing you at 15kobo/KB. If you have about N10k credit, that would expire in no time so BEWARE!!!.
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83 thoughts on “Internet Service Plans In Nigeria with Pricing, Validity, Data Cap, and Activation Codes

    • sajayi says:

      I won’t recommend an internet connection with a download limit for a cyber cafe. A lot of people will download and a 6 GB won’t make much sense. I’d recommend you get an unlimited/high data cap so you will have a fixed cost per month for internet bandwidth. Checkout MTN Hynet. I don’t know if Multilinks has a similar plan though.

    • sajayi says:

      From the list above it’s N3,400 for 50 Hours. Note that all the plans about also apply to laptops as long as you have a compatible modem.

  1. Fidelis says:

    Pls help me with the activation codes and balance check for glo internet bundles of 150mb daily, 150mb monthly and 500mb monthly subscriptions. Thanks.

    • sajayi says:

      Hi, sorry I’m not aware of some of the plans u mentioned. For the others pls check the table above. The activation codes are on the right. Cheers

  2. Lanre says:

    Thank you so much for taking your time and effort to to
    prepare ans share this very important information with us. this is
    the first time I’m seeing a comprehensive comparison of Internet
    data plans across Nigerian service providers. you really deserve an
    award of a DON (distinguished outstanding Nigerian). thanks and
    Godbless

  3. Austin says:

    I have used Starcomms Neo and will confirm your opinion
    about that… CRAPPY. Presently I bought Glo Modem and started
    using it, but to my disappointment, it seems to be worse than the
    Starcomms I was using before. It keeps tripping off while you are
    in the middle of downloading and you have to keep reconnecting. I
    have used it in Lagos (very disappointing, it keeps changing from
    EDGE to WCDMA to HSDPA and cuts off), Zaria (connects on EDGE but
    hardly can you browse with it), Jos (Rukuba Barracks (it connects
    but you can’t browse at all). Please what do I do with it.

    • sajayi says:

      Hi Austin, I experienced the same with Starcomms and Glo. Since I started with MTN I haven’t looked back. You can give em a try. I use my phone as a modem which I’ll recommend you do too so you don’t have to buy the modem, plus you can use the Internet on your phone when you are mobile. You can also easily switch between GSM ISPs by just changing the SIM. Only draw back to using your phone as a modem is that you can’t receive voice calls while connected.

      You can try out MTN’s daily plan. If it’s ok then u can migrate to the 5GB plan if u are a heavy internet user.

  4. duwdu says:

    Thanks indeed for the set of info you’re providing here, much appreciated.

    I tried to get details rgarding costs & recurring charges about MTN’s HyperNet service plans from their website but got nowhere. Could you please fish and publish such details? I don’t want to have to call their customer service for such info.

    Thanks.

  5. Ik says:

    Every one complained about starcomms, non of u ever tried I ZAP modem its broadband nd faster than the so called MTN HSDPA. For light internet users MTN is ok.

    • sajayi says:

      In my case your assumption is wrong. I used iZap for over a year before switching to MTN. Just remembering issues I went through gives me a headache. MTN Is at least 3x faster and cheaper. Coverage is much better too. But hey, if you feel izap is better, ride on.

      I’ve spent a whole day trying to upload files on izap which on MTN won’t take 5mins. You should also read about HSPA and EVDO on wikipedia.

  6. dajayi says:

    Has anyone experienced the intermitent disconnection with MTN FASTLINK MODEM? Mine disconnects after 50 sec. I migrated to MTN recently from Mlinks and with this hickup, I kind of think MTN do not deserve all the credit given for their high speed internet. Please somebody tell me I’m wrong and what is this intermitent disconnection all about?

    • sajayi says:

      I’ve not experienced this with MTN and I’ve been using it for over 6 months. I suspect it may be connected with signal quality.

  7. Nice job. is there any network with night and weekend plans only in Nigeria? i have internet in my office but none at home and being trying to get one for home services, especially weekend because i would to work at home but not possible! if none, kindly assist in getting a plan that is similar to my plan!
    Thanks!

    • sajayi says:

      Thanks. Yes there is. Swift Networks provides 4G LTE with night and 24hrs during the weekend. I think it’s about 6K. I’ll post details of the plans very soon.

  8. Chiboy says:

    Pls i need help, hav multi links 3G Blue broadband but i don’t know how to activate it. I want knw if i recharge 3400 for the 50 hrs plan, will it start browsing or i need to activate it. If yes, how? Also when i plug d moden on my laptop d signal Q is 1bar i want to knw if it is gud 4 browsing. Finally, using mobile phone as moden 4 mtn and zain and using there modens which one is best to browse the internet ? Thanks

    • sajayi says:

      To activate any of the Multilinks internet plans, you need call customer care. Thats the only way I’m aware of. I’ve not used multilinks much but one bar could result in very slow speeds even if the network is pretty fast. If u can get an EVDO connection then it may not be too bad but if it’s 1x then it would be just like dialup.

      I’ve used both my phone and their modem to browse on MTN and I most confess that the modem is better. Seems the modem has a better antenna hence it’s easier to connect at high speeds though this is because MTN signal quality is poor in my area. However if MTN signal quality is great then both would perform great (I don’t think there will be any difference in this case). I cannot recommend Airtel’s Internet Plans. Used it some time back and it wasn’t good. Got friends that use it on their mobiles but none of them will recommend it. Seems Airtel’s 3G coverage is crap and so far MTN’s 3G coverage is the best in my humble opinion.

  9. yme says:

    kudos my brother.

    Have u tried using the fastlink sim to browse on your fone e.g. will texting 102 to 131 make you browse night time on your mtn handset?

    Pls kindly update to reflect current prices.

  10. Dgeeklord says:

    Thanks sajayi for putting this piece together. I found it quite useful.

    As a matter of opinion, Starcomms internet in Abuja is CRAP. prospective clients should beware till further notice.

  11. seun says:

    pls, which internet modem is gud at osun state or obafemi awolowo university and lagos. will mtn be able to do it? if i want to gdt a mtn modem, must i go to their office ? thanks i apreci8 ur effort..

    • sajayi says:

      Hi Seun, I’ve not tried MTN in Osun State/OAU but in Lagos I think MTN is the best. Realiability and speed is pretty good. Once you don’t need more than 5GB data transfer a month and are willing to part with 8K a month with I’ll recommend it. If you can find a black market seller then you don’t need to go to their office. Note that MTN sells it for N5,500 while you’ll get it in the black market for N6,500 and above. Once you then get an activated SIM you are ready to go.

  12. seun says:

    Tnx, mahn…… another question pls’ If i want to get a modem must i go with my laptop? or can i purchase it nd use it at home without trial first..?

    • sajayi says:

      Depends… The modem has a better HSPA antenna in my opinion and thus you’ll get better signal quality with it (my experience with my E72 my MTN E1550 USB Modem. I was literally hunting for 3G when using my phone but with the USB modem I don’t. I preferred using the phone because it meant I didn’t have to pay for another internet plan on my phone and also I could watch videos on my phone without the fear of exceeding my monthly data limit. Right now I have to pay for two data plans and I don’t watch videos on my phone.

      One little issue with using your phone as a modem (at least mine) is that I couldn’t receive calls once it’s in 3.5G mode. If it’s in Edge mode then I can receive calls.

      You can start out with your phone and if you conclude it’s now working as it should you can purchase the modem.

      Lastly, yes you can buy the modem without taking your laptop. You’ll be asked for a passport, a utility bill, identification (driver’s license/international passport).

  13. Ologe Sunshine says:

    How can i migrate from instant surf to always micro? I have text 53 to 127 or 13 to 127 but glo tell me my new request is invalid

  14. aenonimus says:

    Sajayi tanks 4 ur updates u’ve certainly been helpful but i was hoping u might help me out. I’m bout to start a cafe and i was wondering which ISP would be better. Pls i won’t mind u including their plans.tankz

  15. sajayi says:

    Hello aenonimus, there are a number of factors to consider when selecting an ISP for a cafe. Since the success of your cafe directly depends on your ISP it’s difficult for me to provide you with good counsel since I’m not an expert. Different ISPs have varying coverage areas hence you need to find the best ISP for where you are locating your cafe and your budget.

  16. Ayo Abraham says:

    Sajayi, I am about to visit Nigeria, is there a USB dongle type of broadband internet access modem from MTN to use with a Laptop and where do I get one? Second, I use an ipad2 that does not use GSM sims but has Wifi and bluetooth, what hardware equipment do I use to connect it to the internet? Thanks, Ayo

    • sajayi says:

      Hello Ayo, yes MTN has a USB dongle. I’m currently using one too, the Huawei E1550 and it works on Windows and Linux. You can get it from any major MTN office but you’ll require a number of things though like passport photograph, identification card / international passport, PHCN bill for within the last 6 months (or any other bill that proves residency) and about N5,500 I think. It’s not always available from the office and the queue at MTN’s offices are usually long so I will suggest another alternative. I’ve observed that the same modem is available in the market especially at computer village. It’s a bit more expensive but you don’t have to queue or fill forms.

      After getting the dongle you’ll need to also buy a SIM. Which shouldn’t cost more than N500. You are required to register your SIM before you can use it so immediately you purchase your SIM card I suggest you register it immediately (you’ll be fingerprinted, a picture of you taken and your bio-data all for free). It may take up to 24 hours before your SIM is activated. Once activated all you need to do is load credit on it and subscribe to the internet package you require.

      If you’ll be able to go to Computer Village, Ikeja, I’ll advice you not to go into the main market cos it’s really rowdy. I’ll suggest you go to a shopping mall called Assets Corp Shopping Mall at 21 Obafemi Awolowo Rd, Ikeja. You can check the map I shared with you or use the link bellow.

      http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=210473162782906972299.0004b06ea88a5d34d7f01

      If you need any other info I’ll be happy to help. Hope you have a pleasant stay in Nigeria.

      • sajayi says:

        Opps! Forgot about the iPad question. MTN has a product called MiFi. It’s basically a portable WiFi-enabled modem. You can get that instead of the USB dongle and connect your laptop and iPad to the internet using MiFi. It’s more expensive than the dongle and you’ll probably have to get it from one of MTN’s offices.

        Some of the telcos provide broadband routers too eg. Glo, MTN, Swift, MobiTel, etc. They are not as portable as the MTN MiFi but they’ll also get the job done.

  17. missc says:

    hi i am a heavy internet user so far mtn has been not so great and 5gb is not enough would starcomms be better as they have 20gb, would it have good speed and less network issues?

    • sajayi says:

      Hi, I don’t know how starcomms is now but when I was using it (some years back) I had lots of issues. Strangely due to it’s slow speed I could never use more than 3GB in a month even though I was on a 24/7 plan. I tried Glo last month, 7.5k for 6GB with a promo of 1 month free after 3 consecutive months. Just reverted to MTN cos Glo stopped working on my android phone but it works on my Nokia. MTN works on the same android phone (using it right now) so I guess the problem is from Glo. Depending on your budget you could checkout MTN HyNet or Swift.

  18. Akin says:

    Oga Ajayi, I have an android tablet for which the Starcomms izap dongles do not want to work. I have found a hack but it involves re-installing the Android Operating System. Do you know whether MTNs Mifi eliminates the need to flash Android or am I likely to be in the same boat? Thanks in advance.

    • sajayi says:

      Yes it does in that MiFi is basically a wireless access point powered by a GSM modem. So your android tablet/laptop/phones can connect via WiFi. No need to flash android in that case.

  19. sajayi says:

    By the way Akin, do you really need to get MiFi? Your android tablet should be able to create a hotspot and share the internet connection. I’m currently using my Android phone as a hotspot and I’m using MTN.

    • sajayi says:

      Hi Nikky, I’m sorry but I don’t know anything Multilinks WiMax. I’ve not used it so I wouldn’t like to comment. I don’t think their service is the best in town right now though so pls be cautious and do lots of research before selecting a provider.

  20. Uche says:

    hello Sir please i was going through your mail trail trying to see if any comment match my inquiry luckily you hit the jackpot. i recently purchased an android tablet airis and am trying to see how i can hook it up to mtn so i can use it for browsing and making calls now having said this is there a possiblity of this happening. Thanks for your help

    • sajayi says:

      Hello Uche, sorry for the late reply. If your tablet has a SIM slot, yes you can. You can use either the micro SIM or the normal SIM. You may not be able to activate the data plan directly from your tablet (some don’t have an interface for sending sms or ussd) but that can be solved by popping the sim in a normal phone. Don’t go for the table internet plan i.e. 10k for 3GB. It’s a rip-off! Once your sim is in your phone you can activate 5GB for 8k only. If your tablet doesn’t have a sim slot but has WiFi, you can consider getting a MiFi device

  21. sammy says:

    Hi! Pls i use multilinks, 50 hrs plan. my subscription expires tomorrow and i have 20 hours left. will it be added to the new 50hrs i buy?. thanks

    • sajayi says:

      Hi Sammy, I doubt if your hours left will be added. I don’t use Multilinks but all hourly plans I have used never carry over time or data used left. Only operator I’ve heard carries over data cap left is Etisalat. You may want to contact customer care to verify.

  22. Tony says:

    can some one help me am at onitcha just open a cybercafe up to 20 system i don’t know ISP i will use for it, i really need help is like MTN hynet network is not in my area some one tell me what to do

  23. lanre says:

    GOOD DAY … JUST MOVE TO NEW AREA CALL ITAOLUWO OGIJO IKORODU … MY STARCOMMS IS NOT WORKING IN THIS WHICH NETWORK DO YOU GUYS ITS BEST TO UES IN MY AREA…

  24. Sanket Parikh says:

    I am multilink internet member. How can i know my credit time at any time? pls advice me. send me details by mail

  25. Hello Mr. Ajayi, please would like to know a reliable broadband service provide in Ijebu Ode Ogun State, and also I would like to know if there is any covering Efurun in Delta State. Please your response would be highly appreciated

  26. Michael says:

    Sajayi…tanx for ur concern about fans tot…
    Sincerely, i want to start up a cyber cafe…and i need reliable & cheap ISP…pls advise me 2ru ma email

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