Getting the Most from Your MTN Data: How to Share Data Across Networks
With over 60 million subscribers, MTN Nigeria offers a multitude of data bundle options catering to diverse customer needs. However, a frequent question posed by users is:
Can I share my MTN data allowance directly with friends/family on rival networks like 9mobile, Airtel and Glo?
Sadly, cross-network data sharing is not natively supported currently by Nigerian mobile operators. The infrastructure to enable direct data transfers from an MTN plan to another carrier does not yet exist locally.
But don’t lose hope! While you can’t port MTN megabytes directly, this guide outlines alternative techniques to provide data access to other networks leveraging your MTN resources.
Purchase Dedicated Data Bundles
The most straightforward approach is buying data bundles explicitly for your recipient’s network, using your MTN line’s airtime or data balance.
The MyMTN smartphone app (Android/iOS) allows you to easily purchase data for all major networks.
- Open MyMTN app and login
- Go to More > Data for Other Networks
- Choose recipient carrier (9mobile, Airtel, Glo)
- Input recipient’s number
- Select desired data bundle
- Pay using MTN airtime/data wallet
Once purchased, data is instantly available on the recipient’s SIM.
Alternatively, use MyMTN Web to buy data for other networks without the app. Login, select recipient details, carrier and bundle size to purchase.
MTN enables data bundle gifts via Virtual TopUp (VTU) SMS using:
So for an Airtel user, send:
This instantly credits ₦500 VTU on Airtel line for data purchases.
Some networks have dedicated USSD codes for cross-network data bundles. Airtel code:
You get SMS confirmation. Data reflects in recipient’s account automatically.
USSD is simple, not needing smartphone apps or internet.
Send Airtime Credit
Rather than directly coordinating data plans, send airtime value for recipients to buy data themselves later through their network.
SMS Airtime Transfer
E.g. Sending ₦500 airtime to Airtel:
Transferred airtime is instantly available to recipient.
Airtime Transfer Apps
Third-party airtime transfer apps like Transfast also move airtime wallet balances between networks by specifying recipient details and transfer amount.
Gifting airtime is simpler than managing data bundles across carriers. Recipients can redeem airtime to purchase data later per their needs.
Enable Personal Hotspot
For large data users, enable smartphone hotspot feature. Set a password. Your device broadcasts a Wi-Fi network others can connect to, sharing mobile data.
However, this consumes data quicker since allowance is now split across devices. Monitor usage closely.
Explore Data Sharing Apps
Some third-party Android apps like Famzang and MTN Shared Data supposedly allow MTN users share data bundles directly with networks like 9mobile/Airtel via in-app wallet.
Exercise extreme caution before attempting as many such apps have critical privacy/security issues or hidden charges. Thoroughly vet any third-party service first.
What’s the easiest way to share 5GB data from MTN to 9mobile user?
Purchase a 9mobile 5GB bundle directly through MyMTN app using airtime wallet. This instantly credits 5GB data to 9mobile recipient.
Can I transfer my 10GB monthly MTN data plan to Airtel?
No. Only way currently is buying dedicated 10GB bundle separately for Airtel number using MTN app/airtime.
Do data bundles purchased as gifts for other networks rollover if unused?
No. Recipients should redeem unused gifted data promptly before validity expiration.
Can I share 20GB data from MTN via Wi-Fi hotspot?
Yes, but this will drain data allowance faster since multiple devices now share the data limit through your phone’s Wi-Fi network. Use cautiously.
Is it safe to use third-party apps for cross-network data sharing?
Exercise extreme caution as many such apps have security flaws allowing personal data leaks or balance theft. Carefully vet any third-party app before attempting sharing this way.
While MTN subscribers cannot directly port data plans to other Nigerian networks now, alternative options exist like:
- Purchasing dedicated data bundles for recipients via MyMTN
- Sending airtime value for data self-purchase
- Creating smartphone personal hotspots
- Trying third-party data sharing apps (with care)
Evaluate your specific situation, recipient details and data volume needs to determine the optimal approach. With the right method, you can maximize MTN data resources to keep even more people connected.
As mobile money capabilities grow locally, direct inter-network data sharing may be simplified in future. But currently, the techniques outlined here allow you to spread your MTN data balance benefits further.