We’ve been here before — with the never-ending argument that most of the mobile network operators are not actually giving us unlimited internet. Unlimited data plans usually comes with ludicrous terms and conditions (read as Friendly user Policy) that most people often ignore only to be hit by a massive data or speed cap as you are still streaming videos online.
Most people just don’t need unlimited data, and you should have a look if you have any questions about how much you should spend or how much data you need. But if you’re sure you need all the data you can get each and every month, let’s look at which company you should give your business to. We’ll start with a quick look at what each company has to offer and what it will cost you.
It should be noted that this article focuses on mobile unlimited data so it excludes the likes of Zuku’s unlimited home internet, Roke Telkom and the rest that offer fast point dedicated internet to point business, SME and home internet solutions.
The telecom giant just recently joined this unlimited data bandwagon.
|Package||Availability||Price (UGX)||Data Cap (GB)||Validity|
|MTN Unlimited Basic||All day, all night||179,000||2Mbps for 1 GB per day, after 1 GB speed throttled to 256kbps GB till 6AM.||30 Days|
|MTN Unlimited Premium||All day, all night||330,000||2Mbps for 3 GB per day, after 3 GB speeds throttled to 256kbps till 6AM||30 Days|
|MTN Unlimited Night||Midnight – 6am||99,000||2Mbps for 3 GB per day, after 3 GB speeds throttled to 256kbps till 6AM.||30 Days|
Terms and conditions
If you opt for the MTN Unlimited Night data plan, you will be throttled down to 265 kbps when you exceed 1 GB but you will be restored back to the original 2 Mbps speeds the following night at mid night.
The Basic and Premium unlimited data plans will also start at speeds not exceeding 2 Mbps per day before you are throttled down to 256 kbps when you use more than 1GB for Basic and 3GB for Premium as shown in the above table. At 6AM the following day you will go back to using 2 Mbps until you hit your cap. This means in a month, heavy data users will use a minimum of 30 GB and 90 GB for Basic and Premium bundles respectively.
Airtel later followed MTN with their Browsing pakalast offering.
|Package||Availability||Price (UGX)||Daily Allocation||Validity|
|Night||Midnight – 6am||99,000||3 GB||30 Days|
|Regular||All day, all night||179,000||1 GB||30 Days|
|Super||All day, all night||330,000||3 GB||30 Days|
Terms and conditions
Here is where things get interesting. If you opt for the Night data plan, you will be throttled down to 265 kbps when you exceed 1 GB but you will be restored back to the original speeds speeds the following night at mid night.
The Regular and Super unlimited data plans will also start at speeds not exceeding 2 Mbps per day before you are throttled down to 256 kbps when you use more than 1GB for Regular and 3GB for Super as shown in the above table. At 6AM the following day you will go back to using 2 Mbps until you hit your cap. This means in a month, heavy data users will use a minimum of 30 GB and 90 GB for Basic and Premium bundles respectively.
Smile started off with the best Unlimited data offering, giving its users only one option browse till you die at 6 mbps– well we guess this was just a marketing strategy. With time the Smile Premium offering as been diluted down to intolerable data caps but at least they do not limit you to daily usage.
|Up to 6Mbps||0MB <30GB||0 <60GB|
|Up to 4Mbps||>30GB <75GB||>60GB <100GB|
|Up to 2Mbps||0MB <25GB||>100GB <120GB|
|Up to 1Mbps||>120GB|
|Up to 0.512 Mbps||>25GB <30GB|
|Up to 0.128 Mbps||>75GB||>30GB|
Terms and conditions
For premium users will start off with the usual 6 Mbps up to 35 GB, after that you will capped to 4 Mbps until 75 GB beyond 100 GB which you will be using its 128 kbps speeds. On the bright side, both Premium and Platinum users will enjoy free internet between midnight and 6 AM. The UnlimitedEssential plan largely remains unchanged, and you can also enjoy free 3GB per day that you can only use between midnight and 6AM.
Orange Uganda was the first telecom to offer ‘unlimited’ internet when they launched their 3G network in 2012. When it was sold off to Africell the unlimited bundle was retained and expanded into new offerings.
|1 Month *||299,000||Unlimited (512 Kbps)|
|3 Months||859,000||Unlimited (512 Kbps)|
|6 Months||1,619,000||Unlimited (512 Kbps)|
|12 Months||3,049,000||Unlimited (512 Kbps)|
Terms and conditions
Whether on their fast 3G or 4G-LTE mobile networks you will be capped to operate at speeds lower than 512 Kbps which is such a bummer.
When Vodafone Uganda launched its services to the Ugandan populous, they sold affordable ‘unlimited’ Internet packages. Most if not all went bonkers about how cheap their data plans sold for. Revisions have since marred these data plans, first with changing their fair usage policy and capping speeds to 256 kbps till they dropped the bombshell and did away with their ‘unlimited’ internet data plan all together.
How to make a choice
When making a sound decision, you should consider price, coverage, and features equally and while we can’t say which network will work for everyone, it’s where you should look first.
There are a few things in common with most carriers: Each carrier can slow down your data to 3G or 2G speeds once you hit an invisible cap on data, and they all have innovative ways of doing it. And no carrier guarantees great coverage, no matter what their coverage maps might say. At the end of the day it all comes down to you the user, after considering all the above options.
The best news is that everything here is subject to change at any time! Because the market has become so competitive for unlimited data, companies will constantly be adjusting prices and features. When one company makes a move the rest will soon follow with their own new pricing or other offers.
Editor’s Note: This article will gradually be updated with the latest plan details, and also mentioning the best Telecom company that gets the number one pick based on the above poll.