I was talking to an uncle of mine recently about home internet solutions for his kids at home. He had seen the first impressions earlier on my WhatsApp Status and asked me what I thought about Airtel Broadband internet.
That was the moment where I had to distill all my thoughts, testings, and experience into one sentence to an average everyday person who isn’t tech-savvy. What response was “Yes, it’s fast and reliable but there are also a few hiccups here and there.”
So when the time came to curate this article and tell you about my experience with Airtel’s broadband internet, that thoughts kept coming back to me over and over. Because at the advertised price and cost of internet packages, the Airtel Broadband is at much to the competition. Walk with me through my journey of using the Airtel Broadband internet for over four months to see if you need one.
When it comes to products, customer service and satisfaction scores big points. Knowing someone is available at the other end of the spectrum trying to work with you when you run into trouble is comforting and reassuring.
To give you context, in the past four months I have been using Airtel Broadband within Kampala, I have called to schedule for maintenance and relocation once since I moved to a new apartment. All these processes were seamless and all I had to do was call the person who sold me the device (in my case, a chap named Albert in Ntinda service center). He scheduled an appointment with his team and they gave me a call the next day ready to do the work.
When it comes to customer care service, I highly rate my experience and Airtel deserves great shoutouts and applause for getting this right. It turned out Airtel has subcontracted a third-party company to install, troubleshoot, and maintain the Airtel broadband devices.
To add icing on the cake, Airtel Broadband users receive a free 3-year maintenance warranty which is a big bonus.
The best word that describes the Airtel broadband performance is reliability. I have a smart TV that is constantly hooked to the internet (well because I don’t pay for satellite TV), 3 laptops in the house (mostly 2 connected frequently), and about 4 smartphones for family members. That makes a total of about 8 devices connected to the internet.
The internet speeds at this point are very stable and casual browsing is fine. Watching Netflix and YouTubes are perfectly smooth without buffering compared to when I used other ISPs. To my surprise, the two times I had a video call (one on Facebook Messenger and the other from Zoom), my experience was terrible. The videos kept lagging and unmatching voice until I switched to an audio-only call which was perfect.
I am currently subscribed to the 50GB package and with all these devices connected most of the time. Our data depletes averagely in a period of 2 weeks. My speed, however, has been decent since I moved to my new place (Kyaliwajala-Mbalwa), going a low of about 16.5 Mbps and a max of about 21Mbps. In my old crib, the max speed I got was 10Mbps which was after 9 PM but still achieving the same browsing and streaming consistency.
If you are looking for reliable internet speeds, then Airtel broadband can be your answer but at a hefty cost to your pocket. Corporates environment can make use of the 300,000UGX plan that offers 200GB of data for a month and enjoy a fast speed connectivity experience.
Airtel Broadband Internet Packages
First off, let’s address the elephant in the room. The broadband bouquet prices aren’t favorable to even the target market. Airtel is trying to go after the home internet market. Hence, selling 50GB with lightning speed is just shooting themselves in the foot.
Competition like Roke offers 100% free internet from 7 PM to 7 AM, including weekends and public holidays. Their cost of installation and recharge isn’t far from the Bharti-based company either.
|Airtel Broadband||MTN Wakanet||Liquid Telecom||Roke Telkom|
|Cheapest Bundle||UGX100,000 for 50GB||UGX75,000 for 35GB||UGX169,000 Unlimited 20Mbps||UGX100,000 for 40GB|
|Middle Data Plan||UGX200,000 for 100GB||UGX150,000 for 75GB||UGX269,000|
|UGX250,000 for 100GB|
|Highest Data Plan||UGX300,000 for 200GB||UGX300,000 for 175GB||UGX469,000|
|Unlimited quota @ Custom price|
|Installation Cost||280,000UGX with free 51GB of Data||UGX245,000 with free 35GB of data||UGX120,000||UGX300,000|
|Coverage||Kampala, and Entebbe||Kyanja, Kiwatule, Naalya, and Kira||Kampala||Arua, Gulu, Kampala, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Masaka, Mukono, Iganga, and Mbale|
Airtel Broadband takes home an average score of just 2.8/5.
Whenever any business is trying to launch a new product line in a saturated market, product managers and mid-level business analysts sit down and evaluate what sort of value would they add to the existing line of products.
Quite frankly, Airtel broadband doesn’t seem to tick any box in terms of value addition to customers. The price, recharge packages, and features of the Airtel broadband all scream “Toyota Vitz” rather than “Mercedes.” This might be a tough pill to swallow for die-hard Airtel fanboys.
However, when it comes to choosing ISPs, there are no perfect solutions in Uganda. Do you want a fast, reliable, and capped internet solution? Or do you want unlimited, economical, and slow internet? Airtel broadband fits very firmly in the first category and that’s a tough choice you will have to make for yourself.
That’s it for our Airtel Broadband review. What do you think of internet solutions for homes and SMEs? Which ones do you use? Let us know in the comments section.