Airtel Uganda Tugabane Review: The curious case of long distance data sharing

Airtel Tugabane review

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We share, we share, we share, we share Tugabane ” Everyday I wake up to this acappella radio commercial reminding me of how sharing is embodied in our society from Airtel, heading over to my social channels, I register similar occurrences and turning on the TV, once again reminds me of Tugabane.

All this comes at the height of the Airtel Tugabane frenzy, a data sharing promotion where a user gets to share his/her data account with friends &  family.

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This commercial actually reminds me of Sunday school, where sharing was paramount and the unity it brought to nations basing on doctrines of the church. The question is, how does this service work? Does it tally with our expectations? The big red telco has clearly dived in territories that no other in Uganda has done before. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Airtel Uganda Tugabane Review or we can say the curious case of long distance data sharing.

A WiFi hotspot on steroids

Airtel Tugabane  review

Think of Tugabane as a WiFi hotspot on steroids. It makes the Airtel network become one giant “WiFi network” where users can share data.  It’s in this spirit of togetherness that Airtel Uganda debuted this brilliant campaign cast upon every Ugandan, for free! With not a single penny going down the moment you come up with an ultimate decision of sharing your data account with friends & family.

Sharing has always been an integral part of society, so shall that stand for the greater part of existence and Airtel has made it even better. In  such a conservative society as ours, sharing is one respected gesture that can garner anyone blessings in disguise even from the most cunning of all. It puts the feuds aside and brings races, tribes and classes together as a single bond. The spirit of sharing has bound us all here.

 Tugabane for dummies


 The above screenshots of instructions are just to show you how to get by with the service.  After dialing *175*5#, selecting Tugabane and following a few USSD prompts, adding a lucky few contacts from your list and confirming them. With all this doe, they receive a notification about getting aboard the Tugabane wagon and how they can start sharing with you, your data account. You can also opt to use the Tugabane app by signing in using your Facebook or Twitter credentials.

My Tugabane Experience

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After closely following the above instructions, I thus emerged the well-groomed lad, one with a kind heart as praises were directed my way having shared my data account with the rest of the pack. The Secret ingredient to my newly acquired stature,  Tugabane!

The final decision of burning a few gigabytes worth of Airtel data with a few heads within my circles, whose feedback was a guarantee couldn’t go undocumented and so the urge to share my thoughts. The viable requirements specifying both the honcho, the beneficiaries being Airtel customers and having internet ready handsets, fulfilling the above was no rocket science so I took Tugabane for a spin.

It didn’t require me having a badass Internet connection for the rest of the pack to enjoy awesome speeds. I could use any of Airtel’s 2G or 3G reception (Airtel doesn’t have 4G-LTE as yet, sob) whereas my folks were busy enjoying blistering 3G speeds off the data I shared. The different workplaces of all my recipients (Whom I required to maintain no data subscription at a time) should be taken with keen attention.

Airtel Tugabane

Whereas X was busy IMing me with thanks from Wandegeya about Tugabane, likewise were my other acquaintances from Naalya, Nakawa & the Kampala CBD invading my inbox with praises. In high regard, they went on to pour praises upon my name and thanked the giving heart. They all had one thing to thank instead, that’s Tugabane! The normal Airtel data notification warnings kept flooding my way about how I have drained 70% & then 90% of my data until it all went kaput when the final notification arrived about using up my 1GB.

Technically speaking, this well received Tugabane service took up the notch having been crafted from the traditional airtime sharing service and now to include data. This adds to an array of innovative services like Data Me2U and Airtel Money that we’ve come to love over the course of time.

Surprises are always welcome

Surprisingly, it couldn’t only end on just giving out, you can opt out a few contacts that you no longer deem data worthy or those you suspect to be hogging up your data, and you can add new ones too (The maximum number of recipients is limited to four) on a single data plan! Which reminds me if only it would be possible to monitor usage per user, since Tugabane basically makes you a mini ISP of sorts and it’s the first of its kind to garner mass appeal.

As the competition keeps watch, we’re yet to tell if a sudden reply will curtail the Tugabane growth, but for now, Airtel still wins.