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Offline Hermit

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Mobile internet in Africa ?
« on: May 31, 2016, 01:50:47 pm »
Afternoon all,
I need to get mobile internet for data up and downloads on the trip I'm planning in places like Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Moz, etc. This is with the 4x4, so no space issues. And I'm thinking of Satelite based, not cellphone based because I'm not sure how much cell reception I will have and I have to be in constant contact with my office.
I have looked at BGAN, but it seems too expensive ? Even when I rent a terminal, the airtime is $420 for 100mb.
As I'm not too clever with this stuff, any alternative suggestions from those that know ? 
Regards.
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Offline katana

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2016, 03:10:07 pm »
Buy local sims.  By far the cheapest.
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Offline FrancoisTz

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2016, 03:35:54 pm »
Buy local sims.  By far the cheapest.
For sure the cheapest and you can buy them anywhere on the streets, litteraly all over and hardly ever fake scratch cards. You recharge while you are standing next to the vendor and if anything wrong they will change the card for you. Coverage is normally not an issue.
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Offline roburt

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2016, 03:44:20 pm »
agreed the cards will be the best option, you might also want to look who is the big providers in each country  if you need to be online 99% of the time. When I travel tanzania I use 2 cell phones one on tigo and one on Vodacom and have data and voice 99% of the time. You will get some areas that have no signal but not bad
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Offline Hermit

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2016, 06:35:26 pm »
Sorry, I forgot to mention that I have to send and receive emails and do EFT's. I presume it can be done with the local sims, as long as the phone is able to do it ?
An' here I go again on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known,
Like a "drifter" I was born to "ride" alone
An' I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time = Whitesnake
 

Offline Bubby

Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2016, 07:09:31 pm »
Whatever you do, do not activate mobile data there. 4 min on whatsapp will be about R1,200 when you get home. I kid you not.

I would take a mobile wifi router on the trip and buy sims per country and data for each sim as you travel. It's cheap there as long as you use their sim cards. The router you could leave in your car and provide wifi for you and whoever.

Most places where you stay in Zambia and Zim have wifi. Kitwe going thru internet issues currently. PM me if you need more advice on those 2 countries. I travel there often.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 07:38:29 pm by Bubby »
 

Online AntonDP

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 09:52:40 pm »
Whatever you do, do not activate mobile data there. 4 min on whatsapp will be about R1,200 when you get home. I kid you not.

I would take a mobile wifi router on the trip and buy sims per country and data for each sim as you travel. It's cheap there as long as you use their sim cards. The router you could leave in your car and provide wifi for you and whoever.

Most places where you stay in Zambia and Zim have wifi. Kitwe going thru internet issues currently. PM me if you need more advice on those 2 countries. I travel there often.

Agreed.  You need your password to get RICA'ed.  We paid R50 for the sim card in Moz in March this year.  You can budget on R100 per Gb; getting cheaper per Gb when you buy more.

Take your Vodacom router with you; alternatively use the sim card in your phone or ipad and hotspot it.

 

Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 12:26:25 am »
When I was still working in Africa I had a dual-sim phone (Gobii from Kalahari.net). I'd have my SA sim in it to stay connected (receiving calls from SA) and then a sim from whatever country I was in.

Activate the sim by making a call (to the *111 type number) and then load airtime, convert to data, and away you go. I'd even use the phine as a "hotspot" when I wanted to connect through my laptop.

BGAN is VERY EXPENSIVE!!!!

As mentioned, around R100 per gig, but you get bundles that the cost per gig comes down...

The best way to stay connected IMHO  :thumleft:
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Offline Shaun500

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 07:33:37 am »
Perhaps a stupid question...Are the Vodacom routers not network locked?  As in only Vodacom SA?
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2016, 07:46:42 am »
Perhaps a stupid question...Are the Vodacom routers not network locked?  As in only Vodacom SA?

I wondered about this. I know here in Zambia you get MTN Routers and they work fine, but ONLY MTN sim cards. It would be awesome if there is a universal router available, so you just buy a sim in the country you are in, buy airtime, convert it to data and then you have wifi!


Online AntonDP

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2016, 09:14:29 am »
Perhaps a stupid question...Are the Vodacom routers not network locked?  As in only Vodacom SA?

Don't know.   We used Vodacom MZ in Mozambique.
 

Offline Karambisi

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2016, 10:36:48 am »
I live in Tanzania and would definitely advise buying local sim cards, if you have a dual sim phone all the better, most places sim cards are cheap and very accessible. Also we have special internet deals on all the networks which is not expensive. Each country has its own codes etc, but get the agent to help you enter 'deals' and airtime, which they're always happy to do.
 

Offline Hermit

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Re: Mobile internet in Africa ?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2016, 05:32:12 pm »
 :thumleft:

Thanks for all the info !! I will use the local simms then.

I spoke to a guy from CellC who said they have a router that is open to all networks in any country. I will try to get the information from him tomorrow.

Good on you all !
An' here I go again on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known,
Like a "drifter" I was born to "ride" alone
An' I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time = Whitesnake