What are Data Plans? 5 Wise Thoughts for your Next Purchase

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Data plans have seamlessly integrated into our daily routines, mirroring the internet’s transformation into a parallel world that now connects over five billion devices and users. Whether you’re leisurely scrolling through social media, indulging in your favorite shows via streaming, or diligently working from a remote location, the necessity of securing an access to a reliable and affordable data plan is essential.

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In our recent article, we provided seven (7) best tips and practices that will help you prevent overage data charges, we also discussed what happens behind the scenes before an internet eligible device could connect to the internet.

This article will provide a full explanation of what data plans are, the various types available, and guidance on how to choose the perfect data plan that fits your needs.

What are Data Plans?

Data plans are subscription-based service offered by mobile network providers or internet service providers that allows users to access the internet and utilize data-consuming applications on their devices. These plans come with a specific allocation of data, often measured in gigabytes (GB) or megabytes (MB), which users can use for various online activities like web browsing, streaming content, and using social media.

Types of Data Plans

The following are the types of data plans available in the telecom market. We will explained each of them with examples.

  • Prepaid Data Plans
  • Postpaid Data Plans
  • Unlimited Data Plans
  • Family Data Plans

1. Prepaid Data Plans

As the name implies, Prepaid plans allow users to pay for a fixed amount of data i.e your internet service provider (ISP) allocate a bundle portion and set how much its customers buys them. These plans are popular for their flexibility, as they typically don’t require a long-term contract. They are the most purchased Data plans in the market. Users can top up their data as needed, making it an ideal choice for those who want control over their spending.

Types of Prepaid Data Plans

There are several different kinds of prepaid data plans available in telecom, but we are only going to discuss briefly four (4) of them. Listed below…

  • Data-only plans
  • Combo plans
  • Social Bundles
  • SME Bundles

Data-Only Plans

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These plans are designed primarily for data usage and do not include voice minutes or text messages. They are popular for tablets, mobile hotspots, and data-only devices such as mifi or Router.

See examples of data only-plans in the table below ranging from as low as ₦50 to ₦100000 for all Nigerian telco companies. Note that each telco company has its unique data allocation and prices for her customers.

MTN data plans

Validity
(Days)
AmountData Volume
1N5040MB
1N100100MB
1N3001GB
2N5002GB
3N200200MB
7N15006GB
30N10001.5GB
30N12002GB
30N15003GB
30N20004.5GB
30N25006GB
30N350012GB
30N500020GB
30N600025GB
30N10,00040GB
30N15,00075GB
30N20,000120GB
30N30,000200GB
60N800030GB
60N22,000109GB
60N33,000160GB
90N50,000400GB
90N75,000600GB
These are the few data-only plans available on the MTN Nigeria Network

Airtel Data Plans

Validity
(Days)
AmountData Volume
1N5040MB
1N100100MB
1N3001GB
1N5002GB
3N200200MB
7N300750MB
7N5001GB
7N15006GB
14N500750MB
30N10001.5GB
30N12002GB
30N15003GB
30N20004.5GB
30N25006GB
30N300010GB
30N400011GB
30N500020GB
30N800030GB
30N10,00040GB
30N15,00075GB
30N22,000120GB
30N33,000240GB
30N39,600280GB
90N50,000400GB
120N60,000500GB
365N100,0001TB
The table above previews the data-only plans on Airtel Nigeria Network

9mobile Data Plans

Validity(Days)AmountData Volume
1N5025MB
1N100100MB
2N200200MB
7N15007GB
30N500500MB
30N10001.5GB
30N12002GB
30N20004.5GB
30N400011GB
30N500015GB
30N10,00040GB
30N15,00075GB
60N30,000225GB
90N25,00075GB
90N50,000425GB
180N50,000165GB
100N84,992100GB
365N100,000365GB
A table example of data-only plans on 9mobile Network

Globacom

Validity(Days)AmountData Volume
1N5050MB/5MB night plan
1N100150MB/35MB night plan
2N200350MB/110 night plan
14N5001.8GB/1GB night plan
30N10003.9GB/2GB night plan
30N15007.5GB/4GB night plan
30N20009.2GB/4GB night plan
30N250010.8GB/4GB night plan
30N300014GB/4GB night plan
30N400018GB/4GB night plan
30N500024GB/4GB night plan
30N800029.5GB/2GB night plan
30N10,00050GB/4GB night plan
30N15,00093GB/7GN night plan
30N18,000119GB/10GB night plan
30N20,000138GB/12GB night plan
30N30,000225GB
30N36,000300GB
90N50,000425G
120N60,000525GB
120N75,000675GB
364N100,0001TB
globacom data plans

Unlike other Nigerian telecommunication network providers, GLO\’s data bundles are divided into two categories: day and night. For example, if you purchase 1.8GB of data for N500, you can browse during the day while 1GB is only available from midnight (12AM) to 5AM

Combo Plans

Combo data plans known to Airtel, 9mobile, and Globacom as data+ or voice+ bundles, More flex, and super value pack are mobile phone plans that include a combination of services such as data, voice minutes, and text messages (if available) in a single package. These plans offer convenience and often cost savings compared to purchasing each service separately.

See examples in the table below!

PriceCombo Pack
(Voice)
Combo Pack
(Data)
Days Valid
Airtel₦500₦2500100MB7
GLO₦1000₦20001.25GB30
9mobile₦1000₦20001.5GB14
MTN₦50025minutes1.5GB7
Combo Plans

Combo plans varies. Some may either have higher data allocation than voice or higher voice than data.

Social Bundles

Social bundles are data packages offered by telecommunications providers that are specifically designed for social media usage. These bundles typically provide data access to popular social media platforms and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and snapchat at a reduced cost or as an add-on to an existing mobile plan. Users can access these platforms without consuming their regular data allowances.

NetworkSocial BundlesValidity
(Days)
Price
9mobile500MB30₦400
MTN1GB30₦250
Airtel700MB25₦300
GLO500MB30₦100
An example of a social bundle

Small & Medium Enterprise

SME data plan is a specific data plan or package offered by a telecommunications or internet service provider (ISP) that is designed to cater to the needs of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). These data plans are tailored to suit the requirements of businesses in terms of data usage, reliability, and pricing. You can buy SME bundles from third party VTU apps or directly with your ISP.

2. Postpaid Data Plans

Postpaid plans involve a monthly subscription with a set amount of data. Users are invoiced subsequent to their monthly data utilization. These plans often offer more data at a lower cost per gigabyte compared to prepaid plans, making them suitable for heavy data users.

3. Unlimited Plans

Unlimited data plans, as the name suggests, offer unlimited data usage. However, there may be fair usage policies that slow down data speeds after a certain threshold is reached. These plans are excellent for users who consume a lot of data but require a reliable connection.

4. Family Plans

Family plans allow multiple users within the same household to share a pool of data. This can be cost-effective for families with multiple smartphones or devices.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing A Mobile Data Plan

You do not just rush to subscribe a data bundle. You first sit down and think of Data plans that fits your style. Below are the factors you should consider before any data plan purchase…

  • Data Allocation/Allowance: Consider your data usage patterns. Users that do not use the internet much may be satisfied with a smaller data plan, while heavy internet users may require unlimited or high-capacity plans.
  • Contract Type: Determine whether you prefer a prepaid plan without a long-term commitment or a postpaid plan with a monthly billing cycle.
  • Coverage: Ensure that your chosen provider offers good coverage in your area, especially if you rely on mobile data for work or personal use.
  • Pricing: Compare pricing structures, including monthly fees, overage charges, and any additional features like international roaming or tethering.
  • Add-Ons: Some Network providers offer extras like free streaming subscriptions, or data rollover. Evaluate these extras based on your needs.

Wrapping Up

Data plans are the gateway to the digital world, providing us with access to information, entertainment, and communication. To make the most of your online experience, it\’s essential to choose a data plan that aligns with your usage habits and budget. If you consider the factors listed earlier in this article such as data allowance, type of data purchased, network coverage, and the rest of it, you can find the perfect plan to keep you connected in our data-driven age. Remember, the right data plan not only saves you money but also enhances your digital lifestyle.

     

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