The network that calls itself the smartphone network wants to make internet services even cheaper. Mobile data usage in Nigeria is still more popular than broadband services and operators keep announcing deals in order to attract customers to their network. Under the new plans by Airtel, users will now get up to 30MB for 100 Naira and 7GB for 3,500 Naira over a 30 day period. The announced a special *141# code to help customers activate any of the plans they want to be on. Other plans include 500 Naira will now get you 750MB instead of 250MB only this time, it’s valid for fourteen days. As is now common with networks in Nigeria to offer data plans based on the uniqueness of devices like special Blackberry and Android subscription, Android users in the Airtel network will now get 7GB for 3,500 Naira, 1.5GB for 1,000 Naira, 3GB for 2,000 Naira and another 5Gb for 2,500 Naira.
Recently we announced that Facebook was partnering with Airtel to bring its Free Basics service to Nigeria. Free Basics will allow users access essential services offline but this according to Facebook will eventually increase data revenues for operator because according to research, 50 percent of people who have used this service have gone ahead to buy data to access more information on the internet that they couldn’t have got offline.
With this announcing from Airtel which is a constant thing we see in other forms from other network operators, it is now clear that operators want to increase and sustain revenue in face of falling revenues in areas like SMS. Recent report has it that the two Facebook instant messaging services (Messenger and WhatsApp) now process 60 billion messages daily as opposed to 20 billion done on SMS on a global scale. Another threat they face is the looming bill before the National Assembly that aims to propose a 9% increase in tax on ICT services including data and voice. This burden would eventually be passed on to the average consumer mostly in form of higher billing. In any case, if you’re an Airtel subscriber, enjoy this until the new tax hammer comes down on the industry.