Contrary to claims that Ghana’s first 4G LTE network, Surfline has the most expensive data packages on the market, the company said a closer look at the figures would show they have more affordable bundles than four of the GSM players, except Tigo.
Tigo has a 5.5GB bundle for GHC30 and a 10GB bundle for GHC50, which, on face value, are the most affordable on the market, except that, compared to Surfline, Tigo’s are on 3G network and they have a 30 expiry date.
Surfline, on the other hand, has a 2GB bundle for GHC25, which is same as what Glo customers pay for 2G on a 3G networks.
Meanwhile, Airtel is selling 2GB on a 3G network for GHC30, which is GHC5 higher than the same data capacity on Surfline’s 4G LTE network.
MTN is also selling only 1GB for GHC20 and Vodafone is selling 1.6G for GHC20.
For GHC40, one can get 3.2GB data on Glo, but 2.5GB on MTN, which is more expensive than the GHC30 Vodafone takes for a 2.5GB bundle.
Again, while Surfline is giving 10GB for GHC75 on a 4G LTE network, MTN and Vodafone are giving same capacity at GHC120 each and Airtel is giving 6GB for 90 days at the same price, GHC75 on a 3G network.
Another striking detail is that MTN and Vodafone are each selling 6GB at GHC80, which is GHC5 more than what Surfline customers pay for 10GB.
Vodafone and Airtel are also giving only half of that capacity, 5GB for GHC60 and MTN is the most expensive within the loop, offering 4GB at GHC60, all of which compares unfavorably with Surfline’s.
In another loop, Glo customers are paying GHC55 for only 6GB, and Vodafone customers are getting 3.5GB for GHC45.
For GHC125, Surfline is offering 20GB on a 4G LTE network, meanwhile, Airtel is doing only 12GB for GHC150 (GHC25 more for 8GB less than what Surfline offers), and market leader MTN is doing GHC200 for only 18GB (GHC50 more for 2GB less than Surfline’s offer).
Surfline is also offering as much as 40GB for GHC205, which is just GHC5 more than what MTN customers pay for only 18GB on a 3G network. And again, MTN is giving only 32GB for almost twice the price of a 40GB bundle on Surfline.
Meanwhile, 100GB on Surfline is GHC445 compared with GHC800 for the same bundle on MTN. And MTN even offers 60GB for GHC500, which is GHC50 more expensive than what 100GB cost on Surfline’s 4G LTE network.
So it is not true that Surfline’s bundles are most expensive on face value. The table below data prices of the various telcos on the local market.
It is however important to note that Surfline is only present in Accra while the 3G networks are present in most parts of the country.
It is also important to note that whereas the 3G networks have expiry dates on their bundles, Surfline has announced a rollover of remaining data capacity from an existing bundle to the next after the 30-day expiry. In effect there is no expiry date at all.
Meanwhile, in response to questions about value for money, Surfline noted that customers are able to achieve higher productivity on their 4G network than they could achieve on the other network.
Surfline has deployed 220 cell sites in close proximity to each other to provide coverage for Accra and Tema. But some industry watcher assert that 220 cell sites are not enough for the purpose as most of the existing telcos have deployed up to 450 cell sites each and are still having challenges providing excellent coverage.
But Surfline insists their cell sites were strategically placed based on extensive research, and they would deploy more cell sites based on where they identify the need through monitoring.
“In effect, the current number of cell sites we have will increase with time and demand,” they said.
Some Ghanaians have questioned if Surfline issues separate SIM cards apart from issuing them along with their data devices, and the company said it does issue separate SIM cards, but that would be after they have checked if the user’s device could connect to their network.
Surfline also have recharge cards of between GHC5 and GHC75, apart from the online recharge service on their website.
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