airtel smart recharge
There is this new Airtel Bundle offer in town which is making waves. I analyse it’s cost and benefit in this article to let you decide whether or not it is really worth the hype.

Before going into the analysis, it is only appropriate that we take a look at the key features of this Airtel bundle offer.

Bundle or Tariff Plan?

Airtel Smart Recharge is a top-up bundle offer and not a tariff plan. Hence why you are not asked to migrate from your current plan but rather to load up via *200*PIN# instead of the regular *126*PIN#

What networks can you call with Airtel Smart Recharge?

You can use Airtel Smart recharge to make Airtel to Airtel calls, call other networks, SMS and for data usage.

What is acceptability and popularity of the Airtel Smart Recharge like?

The penetration of the Airtel Smart Recharge seems quite deep and the acceptance wide. This can be attested to by the award granted Airtel by the Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria.
The advertising campaign has been adjudged the Campaign of the Year by the Advertisers Association of Nigeria at the 2018 Marketing Excellence Awards, which took place at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on November 18, 2018

Is Airtel Smart Recharge available to all Airtel subscribers?

Airtel Smart recharge is only available to Airtel Pre-paid subscribers

Airtel Smart Recharge - Total Bundle Value For Each Recharge Denomination

Recharge Denomination In Naira(=N=)1002005001000
For Voice Calls in Naira(=N=)
For Data Usage In Naira(=N=)500100030007500
10x Value In Naira(=N=)10002000500010000
Extra Data Value In Naira(=N)--30007500
Total Smart Recharge Value In Naira(=N=)10002000800017500
Bundle Validity In Naira(=N=)3 Days7 Days14 Days14 Days

As can be seen in the above table, Airtel apportions the Smart RECHARGE values between voice call and data value. For instance, a recharge of =N=100 attracts =N=500 for voice call and =N=500 for data; =N=200 recharge attracts =N=1000 for voice call and =N=1000 for data.

In addition to the 10X value offered on =N=500 and =N=1000 recharge, an extra data value is given to the subscriber. As a result, a recharge of =N=500 which attracts =N=2000 for calls and =N=3000 for data also additionally attracts a bonus of =N=3000 for data. Thus, the total data value for =N=500 recharge is =N=6000 and the overall value is =N=8000.

Likewise, a recharge of =N=1,000 which attracts =N=2500 for calls and =N=7500 for data also additionally attracts a bonus of =N=7500 for data. Thus, the total data value is =N=15000 and the overall value is =N=17500.

The validity period for the recharge values varies with the amount you recharge. A recharge of =N=100 is valid for 3 days, =N=200 is valid for 7 days, while =N=500 and =N=1000 are valid for 14 days.

How do you check your Airtel Smart RECHARGE call and data balance?

You check your Airtel Smart Recharge call and data balance the same way you ordinarily check your airtime balance, that is, by dialling *123#
Your unused Smart RECHARGE bundle can be rolled over to a new bundle upon expiry, provided you buy another Smart RECHARGE bundle before the expiration of the validity period.

Can i make International calls with Airtel Smart Recharge?

No, it can only be used for local calls to all networks, SMS and data usage.

How long is the Airtel Smart Recharge available for?

It is available for an indefinite period of time as no time limit has been specified, but like many promotions, can be dispensed with by Airtel, without notice.

Airtel Smart Recharge Call Rate And Data Usage Rate

Calls to all local networks, including other Airtel lines, is charged at N50 per min.
Data usage is charged at a rate of N20 per MB

Benefit/Cost Analysis


Comparing like with like, a =N=1000 airtime GLO recharge for example, utilizing a certain tariff plan can enable a per second billing of 15 kobo per second which converts to =N=9 per minute for an indefinite period of time. This translates to 111 minutes of call time.

A =N=1000 Airtel Smart Recharge will enable =N=2500 vaue of airtime for calls, which at a call rate of =N=50 per minute, converts to 50 minutes of call time, with a validity of 14 days . Admittedly, it is accompanied by a total data value of =N=15000 which at a usage rate of =N=20 per MB converts to 750 MB of data.

Let us leave this call value comparison at this stage to analyse data values so that we can eventually have an idea of what data values can probably cost elsewhere, which when used to compute the value of the 750 MB Data associated with the =N=1000 Airtel Smart Recharge, can be utilized to arrive at the total recharge value given to the customer .
A =N=1000 Glo data monthly plan comes with a 1000 MB data value and an additional 2000 MB data value in the first month and subsequently, if the data plan is renewed before expiration. This puts the cost of GLO data at about =N=1000/3000MB which is =N=0.33 per MB

Now inputting that to quantify the cost of 750 MB of Data of Airtel Smart Recharge gives an approximation of about =N=0.33 x 750MB = =N=250

The Value of Airtel Smart Recharge Data of 750MB which is about =N=250 converts to =N=250/=N=9 per minute = 28 minutes at GLo’s generous airtime usage rate of =N=9 per minute. This when added to the 50 minutes of call time from Airtel Smart Recharge gives a total of 78 minutes of call time which still falls short of the 111 minutes of call time associated with a particular GLO tariff plan, and also with limited time span as opposed to the particular GLO tarriff plan.


Now going to the Data value of Airtel Smart Recharge. Airtel Smart recharge gives in all, =N=15000 value of data for the =N=1000 airtime recharge. At a usage rate of =N=20 per MB, this gives 750 MB of Data. It also gives =N2500 value of voice calls at a usage rate of =N=50 per minute which effectively translates to 50 minutes of voice call.

The 1-Month GLO Data Plan gives in all, 3000 MB of data.

At GLO’s voice call rates of =N=9 per minute, Airtel Smart Recharge Call value translates to =N=450 which when applied for data usage with GLO will give =N=450/=N=1000 x 3000MB = 1350 MB of data. If this is added to the 750 MB of data accruing from Airtel Smart Recharge, this gives a total of 2100 MB which still falls short of the 3000 MB accruing to a GLO subscriber under the GLO 1-Month Data Plan.