Airtel and 9mobile International Calling

Of the four main telecom network providers in Nigeria, Airtel and 9mobile occupies the rear, weighing by their numbers of subscribers. Being at this farther end doesn’t make their packages any significantly less, or unremarkable. Airtel and 9mobile international calling bundles and rates are cojoined together in this analysis because they are terse and precise.

Statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the umbrella body saddled with the duty of regulating telecom operators in the country shows that Airtel has a subscriber base percentage of 26.83% while 9mobile controls a paltry 6.37% stake in the Nigerian market.

Tallying the numbers together, the figure amounts to 33.20%, still far off from the subscriber percentage of market leader, MTN Nigeria, which leads the industry with 39.61% subscriber population. Glo has a 27.12% share of the market. Globacom has recently had a steady lead against Airtel Nigeria. From September 2019 till May, the date in which NCC last gave a monthly telecom statistics (as at time of writing), the aggregate number of subscribers gained by the indigenous brand surpasses Airtel’s.
Airtel and 9mobile International Calling

The good run of form from Glo was however expected as the services from the telco has recently been heartening and affordable. Aside major inefficiencies in network signal, data and call services were encouraging. The telco’s international rates and bundles were way cheaper than those of MTN Nigeria.

Why choose 9mobile for international calling?

Aside having a southward subscribers numbers of 12,225,678, there have been complaints about poor quality of service from them in recent days. However, all other telcos have had their share of these accusations, even the highly acclaimed widest telecom network provider — MTN Nigeria.

Most of these complaints are due to poor data services: network is either slow or hangs up when data connection is switched on. This isn’t unexpected given the preference of subscribers to internet browsing than voice calls culminating to congestion of the network. This was most notable in cities during the coronavirus — influenced lockdown and accompanying restrictions of travels. Subscribers resorted to remote working, patronizing video-calling and conferencing applications which greatly influenced the slow network speed.

In a recent analysis, it was arrived that 9mobile MoreCliq offered a whopping 26.3 minutes call time on a N100 recharge. Although airtime bonuses which lasts for just three days upon the airtime recharge largely makes for the significant call-time, none of the other tariff packages by the remaining three major telco offered more than a 14.5 call minute talktime.

The telecom firm witnessed increase in subscribers numbers after the May 2020 telecom statistics were released in June. With the appointment of a substantive chief executive officer, Alan Sinfield on June 1at, there’s much reckoning the operator is on its way towards gains after about two years with no gain in subscribers base.

The new gaffer forecasted that his novel journey with 9mobile would be an exciting phase in the history of the once-popular telecom operator.

9mobile IDD packs and rates

9mobile has no known international dialling pack (as at the time of writing), although they’ve made it appear they have. Despite that, their tariff plans comes on to fill the gap.

Promising among the plans is the More Life complete plan which offers a reduced call rate of 15k/s to selected 7 international destinations (USA, UK, Canada, China, India, Germany & Malaysia).

Once a subscriber recharges ₦5,000 or more within a month, he is rewarded with free incoming calls while roaming on selected networks in 10 countries.

None other package looks promising for international call aside the one stated above. The numerous numbers of international destinations listed on their dedicated webpage for such suggests their reservation of the affordable packs.

Why choose Airtel for international calling?

Airtel in 2012 became the first Nigerian operator to launch the HD voice service for its subscribers. The telco which has continued to lay claim on being the network with the widest 4G service in the country was the first telco to field test that generation of technology.

Aside company-collective awards like being adjudged the best brand of the year by reputable companies since its inception into the Nigerian market in 2001 (became first telecoms operator to launch commercial GSM services in August 5 that year), its long-standing and first indigenous CEO, Segun Ogunsanya, has several awards to his collections. Outstanding among them is the best telecoms CEO in Africa award he bagged in 2017.

Airtel tariff and data packages are affordable in addition too. Airtel Nigeria packs one of the cheapest call rates in Nigeria. Airtel SmartTrybe with a call rate of 11 Kobo/Sec for all local and international calls after first 50 secs is a keen package which any subscriber should look out for. It offers 14.5 minutes of call time upon a N100 recharge.

The data plans from Airtel would also be an attraction to subscribers who intend browsing the internet in addition to making calls respectively.

Airtel IDD packs

The Airtel international calling packs are meant for calls to only five countries viz: UK (fixed lines), US, Canada, India and China. The telecom operator also claims that calls made with the bundle to those destinations are 70% discounted. The following are the bundles:

Bundle (N)USSD CodeSMS ActivationValidity
International Bundle N100*789*10#ILD100 to 78915 days
International Bundle N200*789*20#ILD200 to 789
International Bundle N500*789*60#ILD500 to 789
International Bundle N1,000*789*88#ILD1000 to 789

Rates are N8.33 per minute. This is better off than the calculated N10.8 per minute calculated for Glo international dialling bundles. This rate is also better than the N9/minute rate obtainable on 9mobile’s MoreLife Complete pack.

According to Airtel, accumulation of tariff plan validity isn’t possible upon multiple subscription to the packs. That is, the initial bundle purchased wouldn’t be pushed over to one bought before the first expires — it would be wiped off after its validity is crossed. The telco doesn’t allow transfer of its international bundle.

Airtel and 9mobile International Calling — End Note

Airtel and 9mobile international calling rates and bundles are affordable to a unique degree. Both are distinct in their givings, and that demands you subscribe to one which individually yet perfectly serves your need.

A reminder here is that, a priority in choosing any service provider for calls should be the present network strength at your location. Chosing a service provider for international calls need not be justified only on the affordability of the IDD packs offered.


A potential electrical/electronics engineer in the making, a phone addict and a motivating partner.While he's not researching through with his phone, Daniel spends his time with the books.★ Fav. quote: The habit of persistence is the habit of victory! ★

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