Before reading my story, and you want to install the Airtel Xtream Unlimited Internet for your office, business or school, click here. Otherwise, here is my story.
The internet is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives. From official communication, news updates, entertainment, backup to online applications, it is inevitable we now have to live with it. In a school setting, constantly communicating with stake holders, updates on social media and school website, eLearning, research and collaboration to school management systems all now need the use of the internet in one way or the other.
However, while the internet is becoming an integral part of our lives, the budget has many times been a barrier.
A decade, a go when I was working as a computer lab technician in a Kampala school, I was tasked by my head teacher to find a reliable internet service provider. Their relationship with previous service providers was not good owing to the poor service they were getting. Internet was always off more days than it was on. When available, it was slow and in case of a technical challenge, response was almost non existent.
But as a person who also ran an internet a café as a side hustle, I had been through all this and had zeroed on Orange Telecom which was providing unlimited 3G internet at an affordable monthly. A few years later, the unlimited bundle was altered to mean a capped speed. We went back to zero. Several providers offered different versions of unlimited internet packages which proved unusable in a school setting. ..And that is how we lost interest in their services.
I am one person who appreciates and even shares with others when I get a good service. For example, during the lockdown, I needed stable internet and power for the online lessons we were conducting with Edify Uganda. MTN provided the WakaNet router which had power back up which prompted me to write an article, Why I chose MTN WakaNet Router & Bundles for my Elearning programs.
How I learnt about Airtel
Personally I am a heavy internet user. Apart from the usual social media, emailing and research, I attend and conduct a lot of lessons online. I recently enrolled for David Wampamba’s online PHP class, I currently host the #EachOneTeachOne series of the ICT Teachers Association of Uganda which also happens online, I am always part of the online class by William M. Jackson where he conducts STEM classes for the National Students IT Club of Uganda, and so on.
On some days, I am in a series of online engagements for 8 hours on end. And yet, I also spend a sizeable part of my days building clients’ websites. This means a relatively big budget on internet subscription.
My search for reliable yet affordable internet started towards the end of 2022. I got several dead leads and almost gave up. However, in December when it was time for my holiday computer classes, I resumed the search. It was tricky how I was supposed to teach kids how to use the internet with the limited yet expensive data bundles I was subscribing to. I contacted several services providers and there still seemed to be no breakthrough.
Those who said they had unlimited internet were restricted to upscale communities around Kampala. Being a resident of Nabbingo, I was advised to wait for some more years before the fibre optic network reached our area.
But still, I didn’t give up on my search. At the beginning of 2023 when I was roaming the social media streets, I took to Twitter to ask for leads to an ISP that would provide unlimited internet at less than UGX 200,000/= per month in Nabbingo
#AirtelXtream internet comes with several packages but I chose the cheapest since I was testing. Their 10MBPS package, which I opted for goes for UGX 170,000/= while they also have a 30 MBPS bundle at UGX 250,000/= and a 50 MBPS bundle at UGX 350,000/=.
I tested my 10 MBPS bundle which powers my computer lab at E-zone School of Computing with 10 computers, 3 laptops and a 43 inch Smart TV and truth be told, I experienced no buffering. In fact, I got more than I expected as seen in the this test I did with various online internet speed test tools.
You can only imagine what the experience would be with a 30 or 50 MBS connection.
How do you get Airtel’s Xtream Unlimited Internet?
For the first time in many years, I give a thumbs up to Airtel for their swiftness. You will get connected within 24 hours after payment.
The first thing you have to do is get in touch with the Airtel agent in charge, (Please note: not your neighbourhood Airtel agent). After informing them of your location, get to your Airtel Money account and follow a few prompts.
- Choose Option 4 (pay bill)
- Go to Option 9 (others)
- For Business number, enter (100100)
- Enter Amount (270k)
- Reference (Insert your real names)
You will also need:
- Your National ID
- Your email address
You will then send a picture of your National ID, your email address and the confirmation message of payment from your mobile money. The confirmation message will contain a transaction ID which must clearly be noted and also sent to the agent.
What you get
After payment, the Airtel agent connected me to the technician who was going to install my connection. We had a conference call and agreed on the time I expected them. And true to their promise, I got a call from Derrick, the Airtel technician confirming that he is setting off for Nabbingo.
Within 30 minutes, Derrick and his colleague were at my premises ready to install.
The tech team installed a mini dish and a router (cube) after which they gave me the login credentials in case I wanted to change the passwords for the router’s Wi-Fi. I was then handed a sheet to sign to confirm that I had received the service.
I however have just one request for Airtel. As a person who attends and conducts lessons online, the Airtel Xtream cube doesn’t have backup power incase power goes off. The next step is for Airtel to improvise or find a way the manufacturer of the cube can make one with a backup battery just like their routers which will keep powered on even when power goes off.
Would you like to test it?
With Airtel’s Xtream Internet, schools will now have reliable yet affordable internet. You too can subscribe to this bundle by registering here. An Airtel agent will get in touch with you and within 24 hours, you will be sorted.
Stephen Dumba is the coordinator of the ICT Teachers’ Association of Uganda for Central region and team lead of the ITAU EdTech project. Besides teaching ICT, he repairs computers and designs websites. Steve is a speaker and facilitator at tech events and ICT workshops for students, teachers and school leaders. He is a Director at E-zone School of Computing, E-zone Web Services and a consultant on education technology.
Tel: +256 772 111 223 | +256 752 111 223 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org