For many months, I was happy with the speed and reliability of Etisalat EasyNet services. I have a dedicated Etisalat SIM for my internet needs. However, things have gone downhill rather quickly in recent times. Now, 3G service often disappears for upwards of 20 minutes at one stretch, and that happens a number of times each day. It has become a frustrating experience.

My primary mobile number is from Glo, and when it works, it is often extremely fast. However, I cannot rely on them at this time either. You see, if Etisalat is becoming frustrating, the situation with Glo is much worse. I have not had internet reception on my Glo line in days. I have called Glo Customer Care a couple of times, but then you probably are already aware of the legends of those guys; don’t you? I will come to the case of Glo internet service in another article.

Anyway, seeing that I have an MTN MiFi device lying idle somewhere, against better judgement based on years of experience, I thought to give MTN a try. A very little test. I loaded a small amount of airtime and subscribed to one of those plans. I am seeing 3G here on MTN, but I swear by my great grandfather’s golden beard that getting anything done on this connection is a pain in the behind. I was so super-frustrated that I tweeted the following question:

Quick question: people who use MTN Nigeria’s internet service – how do they cope? #mobile #internet

— Mister Mo® (@Mister_Mobility) October 10, 2012

Here were some of the responses:

MTN internet users respond

By their own admission, MTN internet users cope by swearing and cursing. To be honest, I came quite close to doing that too last night. Very close.

For hours, I was unable to load Twitter or Facebook on my PC. Being a super lightweight design, loaded fine. The MTN connection is so bad that I have not been able to complete a speed test so as to have tangible data to present in this article. It keeps disconnecting halfway through the tests. I could try again, especially now that everybody is in bed and it is a bit more stable, but I am tired already. I just want to get this article out of the way and get back into bed.

Using other internet services, I chat with a number of friends who use MTN for their internet connection. Often, a message that I send to them leaves my device (an indicator confirms that) but does not get delivered at their end for up to 3 hours. This is my experience whether we are chatting via BlackBerry Messenger, Yahoo Messenger or WhatsApp. Now, using MTN, when I send a chat message, sometimes it doesn’t leave my device for hours. Yes; it is that bad.

Usable for Batmen, Vampires, Lycans & Werewolves

Don’t get me wrong. From experience, MTN internet is very usable and can deliver manageable speeds, but only between the hours of 2 AM and 7 AM daily. If you are a night crawler, you should be happy with it. I do the night thing once in a while, like today now, simply because all I’ve got at the moment is MTN internet and I need to work. But I don’t want to be awake at 4.01 AM every day just to be able to get usable internet service.

The Not-So-Fantastic Four

Yes; this article shines a spotlight on MTN mobile internet, because in my opinion, it is the worst of the lot. However, do not be fooled into thinking that it is 100% bliss elsewhere.

I don’t get Airtel 3G signal at my residence, so I can’t use it.

Glo mobile internet regularly goes Absent With Out Leave, as it has currently done. I heard that it is on holiday in Tema, Ghana.

Etisalat 3G is here, but is gradually inching towards the position that Glo 3G now occupies – going on and off without a care in the world.

Mtel…. oh! There was once a network called Mtel; right? The one that government couldn’t run profitably.

So, here we are. We have the Fantastic Four alive and kicking in our cities, and yet salvation is far. As a confirmed mobile madman, I have NEVER subscribed to any internet service other than a mobile one. Perhaps it is time to look away from the GSM providers and explore other ISPs for a change. Cobranet? SWIFT? Forgive me for being skeptical, but I doubt that any of those others are better. Plus, there still remains the issue of mobility. What happens during a quick business trip outside of Lagos? Fall back on the GSM guys?

We sure need a hero mobile internet provider. Good morning, good people.

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By Mister Mobility

Tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones running EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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