Ghana now has two major active 4G LTE players; Surfline Communications and Busy Ghana. There is a third active player, Blu Telecoms, but Blu does not measure to the level of significance the two have in terms of coverage.
This write up attempts to do a brief comparative analysis between the two with regards to their coverage, Wi-Fi devices, data bundles, prices, quality of service (QoS) and value for money.
On paper, both Surfline and Busy have network coverage in the whole of Accra, with some dark spots at various locations.
1. Surfline has four wifi devices: Modem, Wingle, Router and three different Mi-Fi devices.
Busy has two devices – Mifi and Router
2. Surfline sells a Modem, which can be used just by one person for GHC99 with 1GB free data.
Busy sells a Mifi, which can be used by up to 14 people simultaneously for same price (GHC99) with 500MB free data.
3. Surfline sells a Mi-Fi and Wingle that connects up to 11 people for GHC199 with 1GB free data. Two other Surfline Mifi devices cost GHC209 and GHC289.
Busy sells a Mifi that connects up to 14 people for GHC139 with 5GB free data.
4. Both Surfline and Busy sell their Routers for GHC399 but Surfline gives 1GB free data on a router while Busy gives 10GB free data on a router for same price.
It is important to take note of the following:
1. All Busy bundles last for 30 days, except the 50GB, which lasts for 60 days. But Surfline20GB last for 60 days while the 50GB last for 90 days.
2. Busy bonuses come in the form of freebies (free Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp and Free nights), while Surfline bonuses come in the form of additional data depending on which package you purchase.
1. Busy has 100MB for 3ghc and 250MB for 7ghc but Surfline has none of those
2. 500MB is 12ghc at Busy and 9.9ghc at Surfline
3. 1GB is 17ghc at Busy and 19ghc or 25ghc at Surfline
4. Busy has 2GB bundle for 35ghc, Surfline has none.
5. 5GB is 65ghc at busy and 69ghc or 75ghc at Surfline
6. 10GB is 120ghc at Busy and 125ghc or 129ghc at Surfline
7. Surfline has 20GB bundle for 205ghc or 239ghc, Busy has a 25GB bundle for 225ghc
8. 50GB costs 400ghc at Busy and 445ghc or 499ghc at Surfline
The quality of service between the two so far, there is no marked difference. Surfline sometimes goes off, and so does Busy. When they work, they both work fine. They both are getting there in terms of optimization. This is purely based on the writer’s experience.
Value for Money
But it is up to you to decide which one is offering value for money. On face value, it cost less to get more at Busy in terms of both devices and data bundles. But you need to decide if you want your bonuses in the form of freebies or additional data.
If you love the freebies in the form of YouTube, Facebook, Whatsapp and free night browsing, live streaming as well as uploading/downloading, then Busy is your place. But if you are a numbers person, and you want to see what you are getting in the form of numbers, then Surflinecomes in handy.
Take note that Surfline also gives you more time on some bundles than Busy does, and there is a five-day window for unused data to be rolled over after expiration at Surfline, but Busy gives no such windows.
Meanwhile, MTN 4G LTE is coming later this year. Until then, you still have a choice between Busy and Surfline. Blu is there, but they have very limited coverage compared with the two. AndGoldkey is also testing their equipment so they are likely to rollout soon.
It is expected that when MTN 4G LTE comes on stream, affordability and accessibility would be a major determinant factor as to who will rule the market. Surfline has announced they are going to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and Takoradi in the Western Region this year. MTN has coverage nationwide, but how soon their 4G network will go nationwide remain to be seen.
Busy has not said when they are going outside of Accra yet.
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