There is nothing as frustrating and “patience-testing” as internet that runs as slow as the growth of Ghana’s economy. It can get so bad that if you have a level of tolerance that is an inch lesser than mine, you would crush your phone to the ground. Now, that may sound a bit extreme but slow internet is that extreme–If you know, you know!
There are three major telecom network internet providers that I have flirted with: AirtelTigo, Vodafone and MTN. I have never used Glo so I cannot say much about them. Among the three I have used, I want to compare my experience with them and share which one I think provides the best internet service in Ghana.
Before Airtel and Tigo merged, I used both networks at different times. When I was in High school (between 4 and 5 years ago), I was juggling between both services.
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I used Tigo for my data needs because it suited my pocket. The data was very cheap and as a high school student, what else could I ask for? In those early days, for Airtel, I used it because my best friend was on that service. So we could talk for long and there was free texting as well.
Over time, I had to switch completely to Airtel (for both data and call purposes). Tigo was a huge disappointment. Yes, the data came at a cheap price but the service was an apology of what a standard internet service should be. A common google search took forever to complete.
My romance with Airtel started on a smooth ride. With my Nokia C3, I could bundle 10 MB for three days (now, that won’t even last for a minute). My data needs were very minimal so I was just okay. However, all love was lost between Airtel and I when I started using an Android phone. I had more data needs which required that I bundled more and unfortunately, just like Tigo, they were not giving me value for money. The service was shambolic.
It was during this period that Vodafone introduced their Vodafone X packages. My friends who were on the network kept praising it until I decided to port my old Tigo number to Vodafone. The internet was relatively smooth and very affordable with the bonuses the package provided. The love affair I had with Vodafone was a sweet and deep one –it was intense– even though once a while, I experienced an Airtel/Tigo/AirtelTigo. But hey, this is Ghana.
Then came MTN. JB Klutse, the founding editor of this blog, gave me an MTN modem. I am very adventurous when it comes to internet service providers because I always want the best. So at that time, I had an MTN sim which I was using for the purposes of mobile money and I inserted it into the modem. The data packages were quite expensive and using a 3G sim card with a 4G modem gave me an ordinary experience.
In due time, I upgraded to the 4G. Since then, I have had no regrets. Even though the packages are expensive (relatively), I enjoy value for money. So now, I use MTN 4G for data for both my phone and modem. But when I’m broke, I have no option but to be patient with what is now AirtelTigo. With the combination of two bad heads, you can expect nothing better apart from being affordable.
In all, if you want to go for affordability, go for AirtelTigo but don’t complain about poor service (this is a serious warning). If you are like me and you want to go for quality and speed, go for MTN 4G. If you want something in between (fairly good internet service+speed and relative affordability) go for Vodafone.
However, you need to understand that your location is a major factor in deciding what Mobile ISP works best. What may work for me, may not necessarily work very well in your area. It is important to ask your neighbours which Mobile ISP gives the best value at your location. But I can add that outside Greater Accra region, Vodafone seems to have a more stable internet coverage compared to rest although MTN is doing its best to catch up.
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