Home » Telecom » Airtel 4G Network: Band, Sim Card, Activation, Bonus & Coverage

Airtel 4G Network: Band, Sim Card, Activation, Bonus & Coverage

I won’t have believed it if i was told airtel would be the last of the telecom giants to launch 4G network in Nigeria. I mean airtel 4g came too late than expected.

Considering the fact that they were the first to launch a test trial of the 4th generation network in Nigeria in 2012.

Also, why others (mtn, glo, the then etisalat now 9mobile) are stuck at ordinary 3G, airtel already upgraded to 3.5G in most major cities across the country.

However, even though they are late to the party, they are still on time for item 7.

Airtel 4G LTE Network: Launch, LTE Band & Coverage

Airtel Nigeria announced the roll out of 4th generation (4G) long term evolution (LTE) network in Nigeria while numerous Nigerians were preparing for 2018 Valentine’s day.

4g Network Launch in Nigeria

This announcement was made in Ibadan on February 13 2018 by Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Nigeria Managing Director.

According to Mr Ogunsanya, Ibadan was chosen because it had in the past recorded many firsts in communication industry.

You would remember that smile 4G service was also first launched in Ibadan.

The Managing Director added that Airtel Nigeria took its time to get the technology right before launching it hence its delay compare to other telcos.

MTN 4G network was launched in Nigeria as far back as 2016 and earlier this year (January 2018), mtn conducted Africa’s first 5G technology trial in South Africa which hits download speed above 20GBPS with less than 5ms latency.

The then Etisalat Nigeria (now 9mobile) and Glo Nigeria also launched their 4G networks in Nigeria in 2016.

Airtel 4G Band Frequency

One thing that limit the use of Glo 4g in Nigeria was because it was launched on band 28 which isn’t supported by most 4g enabled devices in Nigeria then.

Though some infinix and tecno phones that are recently launched support the band frequency.

MTN and 9mobile on the other hand launched their 4G service on band 20 and 3 which are supported by most 4g enabled phones in Nigeria.

The good news is that the recently launched Airtel 4g LTE is on Band 3, frequency 1800MHz which is supported by virtually all tecno, infinix, gionee, itel, nokia and xiaomi 4g enabled phones.


The LTE service is currently available in Ibadan and Lagos as at the time of first publishing this article (March 19 2018).

But according to Airtel Nigeria CEO during the launch event in Ibadan in Feb. 2018, their 4g coverage will extend to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Owerri and other major Nigeria cities soon.

May 2018 Update: Now live in Ogun state and Abuja. Expected to be available in all major cities by the end of 3rd quarter.

November 2018 Update: Now live in over 60 cities across all the 36 states of the Federation including all aforementioned states and cities.

Airtel 4G Sim Card: Activation, Free 4GB & 25% Data Bonus

Users that resides in Ibadan should visit any nearest airtel office to get a new 4g sim or do sim swap for existing sim.

New sim card cost 200 Naira while sim swap for existing users cost at most 500 Naira.


New subscribers should just buy new airtel 4g sim and do normal registration. You will asked your name, date of birth, state of origin, local government, mother’s maiden name and home address.

I did mine today and it took less than 10 minutes. Also, the sim started working immediately. Downloading speed is better than my 3G sim.

Existing users need the following for sim swap.

  • The airtel sim phone number.
  • Any means of identification: Work/school ID card, International passport, driver’s license, voter’s card, national id card.
  • You will pay 200 – 500 Naira for the sim swap depending on the retail outlet.
  • Also, you will need to confirm your personal details they already have in their database.

Sim swap takes 30 – 50 minutes because there are more people doing it and the process is somehow longer compare to new registration.

Free 4GB and 25 percent Data Bonus

Once you are done with new registration or sim swap, insert the sim card into any 4g enabled smartphone and set your preferred network to 4G LTE.

  • You will receive a message saying you have been credited with a 4G trial offer of Free 4GB, dial *141# to check.

The free 4GB data is valid for just 7 days (They are no more giving this bonus to all new sims, just some selected ones).

In addition, you will get 25% data bonus when you purchase data plans of 500 Naira and above for the next 3 months. Bonus data is usable only on airtel 4G network.

There you have it on airtel 4G LTE network service. Do you have any question? Kindly make use of the comment box and don’t forget to share this article.

40 thoughts on “Airtel 4G Network: Band, Sim Card, Activation, Bonus & Coverage”

  1. AIRTEL is actually the first to launch 4G network in my area (Onitsha, Anambra State) so they didn’t come late to the party at all here. And their 4G service is pretty awesome.

    Seriously the way they are going, they may be the first to cover the whole Nigeria with 4G network despite being the last to launch.

    1. I agree. When airtel starts something new, they most of the time don’t stop until they are done. I love that spirit.

  2. Pls is there a special code to subscribe for d 4G plan or isit d regular 3g plan one will sub nd end up using onlu bonuses given on 4G?

  3. I live in Warri, Delta state. Does Airtel 4G network cover Warri. I currently have a samsung J7 PRIME phone that glo customer care said does not support their band. MTN 4G is not in Warri. So I want to know which mobile network 4G covers there.
    Thank you.


    1. Yes. Airtel has 4G in warri, well at least in Effurun. So, I assume it should be in warri also. What part of warri do you reside?

  4. I’ve just got a new 4g sim but I’m yet to get any 4Gb data or message whatsoever.
    Pls what could be the problem?

    1. Yes, you can use it on any device and still get your bonus. However, you will only continue to get the bonus for the next three months. So, you might have to buy new sim every 3 months.

  5. What’s the subscription code for the Airtel 4G Data plan?
    Or what’s the procedure to subscribe using the *141# method?
    Detailed procedure please…

    1. It is the same subscription for 3G. Dial *141#, then reply with the option to buy data plan which is 1, then reply with the option to buy either monthly plan, daily or weekly and follow the on screen instruction from there.

  6. Salisu Latifat Abolore

    I upgraded to 4g sim and am using a phone that has 4g but to my greatest surprise I wasn’t given any bonus despite the fact that am using 2 Airtel sim and I did 4g upgrade on the both sim and I wasn’t given any bonus on both sim. They are just giving me unflimmy excuses. It was so painful. The stress of going there with my baby was even killing. Since yesterday 25/02/19 till now nothing has been done. They guy I met just told me he will call me and since then nothing has been done.

      1. I have checked, nothing is showing.
        Although I haven’t subscribed yet. I am still using my 4GB.
        Your caption on this page says it should be 25%. I don’t understand

  7. I also upgraded my sim too but wasn’t given any free 4G trial data, even called their customer care, was told to recharge first btw500-4000, I did but still didn’t see any 4G data, don’t even understand again, I’ve been waiting since 27/6/2020 till now no free data trial just the 100% upon recharge, y

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty + 9 =