When it comes to internet usage in Nigeria, one of the worst nightmares for subscribers is running out of data especially during an important task. On a daily basis, the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), receives a barrage of complaints from subscribers about how their data is running low.
Often the complaints are about how a month’s data plan runs out in a week. While the blame is placed on the service providers, many forget to be aware of the fact that their smartphones and other smart devices consume data every second, even when not in use. The problem also stems from the fact that most Internet service providers, including the country’s mobile network operators, offer limited data services.
Interestingly, there are a few ISPs that currently offer unlimited internet services that Nigerians can take advantage of to avoid being shut down for 2 weeks after subscribing to a one month subscription.
However, the caveat with these unlimited plans is what the ISPs call Fair Usage Policy (FUP). The FUP means that there is a certain threshold of your usage within the unlimited period where the speed you get will be reduced but you will still be able to access the internet.
For example, if your one-month unlimited plan has a 40GB FUP, that means you’ll enjoy the best speed until you run out of 40GB, after which the speed you get will be reduced.
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Here are the top 5 ISPs that currently offer unlimited plans. They are ranked according to the affordability of their plans:
NTEL has one of the best and most affordable unlimited data plans in Nigeria today and there are many options to choose from. It also has the cheapest price for the best value for money. While NTEL is a great network, it currently has a shortcoming in terms of limited network coverage. For now, NTEL is only available in some areas of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. So before subscribing to the service, confirm whether it has coverage in your area.
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The company offers several plans for unlimited data, including:
Perfect for individuals who need unlimited data for specific tasks for a short period of time. Subscribe for only N1,500 Valid for 2 days This plan is subject to a 10 GB Fair Use Policy (FUP).
Ideal for people who want unlimited internet without a long-term commitment. Subscribe for only N5,200 per week Valid for 7 days This plan is subject to a 40 GB Fair Use Policy (FUP)
Perfect for multiple users at home or on the go. Subscribe for only N18,500 monthly Valid for 30 days This plan is subject to a 150 GB Fair Use Policy (FUP)
This is ideal for those concerned with endless downloads. This plan has No Throttle, No Cap, No FUP! Subscribe for only N25,000 monthly Valid for 30 days
This is a long term plan for 3 months Subscribe for only N51,000 Every 3 months Enjoy high speed internet access Valid for 90 days This plan is subject to a 450 GB Fair Use Policy (FUP)
Smile Communications also offers one of the best unlimited data packages with excellent speed in areas where it has network coverage. The ISP currently has network coverage in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja, Benin City, Kaduna, Onitsha and Asaba. Smile has several unlimited plans, including:
Gives you unlimited access to the internet at 8 Mbps It costs 12,000 Naira per month FUP is 40 GB Speed is limited to 512 Kbps after 40 GB
Default speed for Unlimited is essential up to 8 Mbps It costs 18,000 Naira per month FUP is 100 GB speed is reduced to 512 kbps after 100 GB
Gives you unlimited access to the internet with data rate up to 3 Mbps It has a validity period of 30 days It costs 25,000 Naira FUP is 180 GB Speed is reduced to 512 kbps after 180 GB
Spectranet currently has the largest number of subscribers among the ISPs in Nigeria. This is not surprising as the company is one of the oldest internet service providers in the country and does a good job of delivering the best speed. It is also one of the few ISPs to offer unlimited service in Nigeria. The ISP currently covers Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Port-Harcourt. Spectranet’s unlimited plans include:
Unlimited Gold Subscription
Gives unlimited access for 1 month It costs N18,999 per month FUP is 125GB Speed will be reduced to 512 kbps speed after 125GB
Unlimited Diamond Subscription
This will cost N20,000 per month Speed @ 4Mbps FUP is 200GB Speed will be reduced to 512 kbps speed after 200GB
Cool link offers a fast and affordable internet service via satellite. This means that the service is available all over Nigeria. Cool link’s broadband service is broadcast from its satellite in space, giving you faster speeds than most terrestrial services (radio, 4G and fiber optics).
The company also offers several packages with unlimited plans, including:
Unlimited data for 30 days 20 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds It costs N6,900 per month FUP is 10 GB Over 10 GB, download speed is reduced to 4 Mbps Over 15 GB, download speed is reduced to 1 Mbps Free overnight browsing (10pm to 6am) at full speed
25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds It costs N9.900 FUP is 20 GB with up to 25 Mbps Over 20 GB, download speed is reduced to 5 Mbps Over 30 GB, download speed is reduced to 1 Mbps Free night access (10pm to 6am )
30 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds It costs N14,900 per month FUP is 30 GB to 30 Mbps Over 30 GB, download speed is reduced to 6 Mbps Over 45 GB, download speed is reduced to 1 Mbps Free night access (10pm to 6am hour)
Swift is another network that offers unlimited internet data in Nigeria. Swift is also stable in areas where they have good coverage. Before choosing Swift as your preferred unlimited data provider, confirm that the network speed in your area is stable as the company does not have a link on its website showing its coverage areas. Unlike other ISPs, Swift does not disclose its fair use policy to its customers. The unlimited plans include:
SWIFT Unlimited Weekly
Unlimited access for 7 days It costs N6,500.00
Swift Unlimited Supreme
Unlimited access for 30 days It costs N25,000.00 The company has also introduced special unlimited plans for weekends.