Vector, some Nigerians pick holes in MTN’s data charges

MTN Nigeria is in the news again. This time, its subscribers led by Olanrewaju Ogunmefun, popularly known as Vector, took to Twitter yesterday as they picked holes in the telco’s data charges

Vector vented his frustration regarding quick data depletion. He said Nigerians work hard to earn their pay only for telcos to scoop everything through data depletion. His outburst against MTN led to the hashtag, MTNdoBETTER on Twitter.

The ‘Famous’ rapper said Nigerians should not keep quiet and let network providers bully them into accepting substandard service. According to him, the internet service being provided is poor at a period the world is wrapped around the internet.

Data concerns: Network providers in Nigeria have been receiving heavy criticism relating to their data service. This made the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami to give telcos a directive in the first week of November 2019, to address the issue of illegal deduction of subscribers’ data bundles. He also gave NCC five days to compel telcos to reduce the prices of their data packages. However, both the Minister, NCC and the network providers are yet to act on the directives three weeks later.

A Twitter user, who joined the MTNdoBETTER campaign, said MTN deducts data “like tomorrow no dey” despite charging the highest among the telecom firms in Nigeria. But Vector said it’s not only President Muhammadu Buhari that deserves to be criticised, stating that if any network charges money for services and still treats the customers like trash, then there’s a need to speak out.

MTN’s response escalates issue

The response of MTN Nigeria had raised more dust after the company asked Vector the same questions that had been previously asked. The rapper was unsure if the response was from personnel of the company or just a system bot, as the questions asked didn’t resolve the issues.

Vector blamed the refusal to fix the depletion of data and the poor service on lack of proper regulation by the Nigerian government. The telecoms industry is regulated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), but he feels, “Nigeria is such a trash place with regulation.” He added that network providers only respond to the wealthy.

Why Data get exhausted fast

Nairametrics had reported in October why MTN data get exhausted fast. MTN Nigeria disclosed that a system upgrade in its internet service was the reason for the quick depletion of data.

“Y’ello @macheteros, sorry you feel this way about our data offer, the improved internet speed over 3G and 4G actually affects data depletion rate.”

The joy of a subscriber is fast internet. However, a fast internet comes at a price, according to MTN Nigeria. The faster your internet network, the quicker your data gets exhausted. This means you can’t have your cake and eat it. However, Internet users are seeking a balance – fast internet with a low depletion rate. That’s why the directive given by the Minister of Communication was received with open arms by Nigerians. MTN Nigeria didn’t respond to Nairametrics enquiry on the issue.

Impact of criticism on MTN

The criticism of MTN is affecting the brand of the company, making its subscribers to switch to competitors. In August 2019, its internet subscribers dropped from 52.2 million to 51.6 million in August. That’s a loss of 667,245 Internet subscribers according to the NCC.

Reactions of the MTNdoBETTER campaign 

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