On September 30, 2020 I finally cut the cord. My household stopped our subscription to DSTV cable TV.
I took the plunge and invested in an Unlimited Internet subscription with Swift Networks. What Swift promised to offer, for a N25,000 monthly fee, was 4Mbps (0.5MB/s) download speed on their SWIFT Unlimited Supreme plan. By comparison, I get speeds as high as 30Mbps (4MB/s) on Glo 4G network in my neighbourhood. Swift’s unlimited internet speed offering is indeed very low but usable. Surprisingly after one month, I consolidated our relationship by paying for another 3 months subscription upfront.
There is an average of about 6 video viewing devices hooked up to the internet at any time in my home. Even with this, we only get occasional buffering. Devices used include a Roku streaming device, game boxes and a string of android devices. We mostly stream video and audio contents from, particularly, Netflix, the regular YouTube, Roku Channel, Channels TV, Al-Jazeera, Tune In, Amazon Music, Deezer and Filmrise True Crime. Of course Roku has literally a thousand or more channels to choose from.
Additionally, some major local and International News and Religious organizations beam their live channels via the YouTube app. These stations include Channels TV, Arise, Bloomberg, Sky News, Al-Jazeera, MFM, CBN News, and Bein Sports.
The good thing about these apps, particularly the YouTube app, is that they automatically regulate the video quality of your streams according to the internet speed available. It’s only occasionally, and for very brief periods, would you find the video quality unbearable to watch.
Expect to watch your videos with quality between 360p and 720p, depending on the number of devices you have hooked up at any particular time. This is comparable to what you watch on regular DSTV channels.
However, where you will quickly experience the shortcoming of the miserly bandwidth Swift has on offer is when you attempt to make downloads. Chances are that you would be able to pull this off within a respectable time frame, say 3 hours for a 3gb file, it will however come at a price. The internet speed for all other devices would crawl to a halt while you are downloading.
In all, at the end of the month, I still managed to burn off almost 350GB of data.
There are a string of small ISPs offering unlimited Internet services in Nigeria, mostly in Lagos. However, what deal you get is very much dependent on your location within Lagos. You may pay as little as N10,000 for unlimited Internet in some locations with theoretical speeds as high as 15Mbps. However, expect to hear tales of woe from most subscribers as the service offering of these companies are pitiable at best. What you get is usually nowhere near what you are promised.