Why Airtel’s data plans can be deceiving

Airtel Nigeria recently launched new data bundle plans. At first, what was on offering was simply unbelievable! However, on closer analysis I realized this was not so.

Here is why:

Data PlanPrice (N)RateAnalysisComment
1GB1,500N1/MB (All day) As written it is: 1kobo/10.24kb. This must have been a mistake as data burn rate is actually: 1kobo/1.024kb. It would have been nice to have it at 1kobo/1kb but at it’s okay at 1kobo/1.024kb. The difference could be negligible. Data consumption rate okay and competitive.
3.5GB2,000 N1/MB (All day)
5GB2,500 N1/MB (All day)
7GB3,500 N1/MB (All day)
12GB 5,000 1kobo/kb (10pm – 6am) 2kobo/kb (6:01am – 9:59pm) Usage rate is doubled as from 6:01am – 9:59pm. This can be taken as all day as only few people are awake from 10pm – 6am. This means that if you require a 100MB to download a document, you will be using 200MB to do this from 6:01am – 9:59pm. You should stay away from this data plan. This data plan is actually a 6GB – 8GB bundle disguised as a 12GB bundle. Except you can stay awake to browse at night only while switching OFF your data all through the day.
24GB 8,000 1kobo/kb (10pm – 6am) 2kobo/kb (6:01am – 9:59pm)
34GB 10,000 1kobo/kb (5pm – 9am) weekdays 1kobo/kb (All weekends) You will only use this data plan at its normal rate of 1kobo/kb between 5pm – 9am on weekdays and all through the weekend. Though not listed, but my guess is you should be charged at double the rate between 9:01am – 4:59pm. This data plan is almost the same as the previous one. Most of the time you will be charged at a double rate. Most likely a 20GB – 25GB plan disguised as a 34GB. You could achieve full 34GB usage if you browse only at hours charged at 1kobo/kb.

If you have been using the Airtel data bundles, this should give you an idea as to why your data bundle finishes faster than you expected.

Always watch out for the data usage rates while purchasing your next data bundle plan.