Ok, I thought I should post this so you know the current Internet prices PLUS service offered here in Freetown.
This section is close to my heart – after all, I use the internet service to update this blog.
Internet access is so expensive here, it’s a joke! Especially, when you consider how *crappy* (Excuse my french) most of the services are.
When we arrived in Jan, 2008, there was no credible internet service apart from Comium, Iptel and maybe some others I don’t know. Zain had still not launched their Edge GSM service. I initially went to an internet cafe (FGC) to test for about a week. I couldn’t even download a simple photo let alone watch a video on Youtube. It was so slowwwww….I could literally count about 20-30 cars through the window before the page I wanted loaded!!!! 🙂
They assured me that if I bought a monthly bundle it’ll be better. Being desparate, I spent $300 ($200 for their dodgy equipment and $100 for a month of surfing at home). One of my worst buys as I had to physically carry the “antenae” and see if I could catch their signal!! Imagine?? In fact, I was stationed in the balcony most of the time.
Anyway by February 2008, Zain launched and this is what I’ve been using from home since – it cost $80 / month! Yup! (Excluding $190 startup for their “equipment”) In my opinion, it’s the best among a BAD lot if there’s any such thing.
Needless to say, there are 3 ways you can surf generally:
Internet cafe – Definite No No ….unless you’re desparate. An hour costs about Le 2000 – Le 5000 but because it’s so slow, you’ll end up spending that just to get on Yahoo frontpage!
Surf from Home – Companies such as Zain and Comium are offering this for around $70 – $80 a month but you have to pay for the equipment which will normally cost between $150 – $250. There’s no FREE trial here so if you invest and you don’t like it, tough! I use Zain for now. Sierratel seems to have joined the competition. As of this week, my hubby is testing them in his office and I’ll update blog as to our findings.
Business Packages – IPtel seems to be the best and is used in a number of offices. To use it cost whopping $195/month PLUS equipment. This equipment includes a dish which makes surfing with them faster.
So that’s a jist of what surfing is like in Salone – expensive, slow and unreliable especially in the rainy season!