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Internet providers and pocket wifi

Rochester, New York
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Internet providers and pocket wifi

I will be coming to Gambia for the 1st time in May. Good internet connectivity is very important to me. From my research so far, the connection quality of connection in Gambia seems questionable. Even in hotels and guest houses with free internet. I am not sure what area near Banjul I will be in and I will probably be moving around. So the 1st question is, what is the best internet provider for me?

My 2nd question is, how best to use that provider? I use my laptop for internet and phone just for calls and texts. When in East Africa a pocket wifi seemed to work very well. Would that be my best answer in Gambia also? And do all the internet providers sell pocket wifi units? And finally, if the pocket wifi is the way to go, does that change what company would be the best internet provider for me?

If there is a better option for someone without a permanent residence to have a good and stable connection, please let me know.

Thanks, Jerry

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29 replies to this topic
Lichfield, United...
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1. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

Internet as of now. Some hotels and some bars boast some Wi-Fi or in house computers. Nothing to European standards or speeds for up/down load. All servers used just don't have the band width out of West Africa. Solution set up your own TV company type reporting satalite. Best next by a transmission USB from Gamcell, Africell or Qcell and get it well credited with megabites.

Retford, United...
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2. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

The other issue at the moment is power outages. Some days it's fine but on others it can be off from around 08:00 am until late evening and at other times most of the night and even if you have power where you are it might be off further down the line to your service provider

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3. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

Speed test using WiFi at Kingfishers 6am this morning 4.45Mbit down 2.04Mbit up

At the same time of day and location using Africell 3G 25.66Mbit down 3.07Mbit up

Repeated the tests just now at 17:30 local time. WiFi 2.97Mbit down 0.14Mbit up and for 3G Africell 4.45Mbit down 3.07Mbit up. It gets even worse later. So the moral is get up early and use mobile data if you need faster speeds.

Africell and Qcell have both started to offer 4G SIMs but I haven't tried one yet to see speeds you might get.

Lichfield, United...
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4. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

So some bofffin here open up a fast internet café with good sandwich bar EasyJet Café style. We can do the interiors....!

Lichfield, United...
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5. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

This is an issue to anyone working "in the field" and expecting to get any sort of comparable speed of service, no cut out, upload/down load to EU or UK. You just wont get it. A lot of bars have better wi-fi than hotels. You have to sit there take over a table near to a 13amp socket, buy something and get on with your work. Probably someone in the know got there first.

Next is buy USB 3G. Africell have sold out of 2017 stock completely, you can get Gamcell and Qcell from their shops, only Qcell offering 4G and not cheap. To load computer megabites you have to convert in a spare mobile from standard mobile credit. SIM cards in and out then get into your dongle unit. Some dealers will do it for you.

Then speed seems to vary from where you are and time of day. No test yet as we have seen on 4G server.

Greater Manchester...
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6. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

Please be advised this is still a third world country and has services to match, infrastructure projects are thin on the ground - the power situation is being addressed but will take several years to really improve.

Internet falls in the same category - Africell seems to be about the best around the tourist areas BUT get away from there and it will decrease considerably - anywhere away from the Greater Banjul area can expect the equivalent of 2g unless they have a dedicated wireless Wifi system fitted in their property - and even then the service can be unreliable.

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our house ?
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7. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

The original post was from 2 years ago and the OP has probably figured things out by now..

Edited: 29 January 2018, 19:16
Rochester, New York
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8. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

I find it interesting that this thread is still going on. I am Jerry, American and the original poster who first started this thread in 2016. I now live in Kotu. I use a pocket wifi. I think you Brits call it a mifi. It is MUCH faster than a dongle. As long as I charge it when power is on, I am good for 4 hours of no power. I can use it for any devices since it does not connect directly to a laptop, I can take it easily anywhere with me if I plan to use my phone - much easier to carry around than my laptop. And as to my provider, I use Africell and as long as I use it during the day the connection is fine. I have used this combination of pocket wifi, Africell and use only during the day while living in Senegambia and for the past several months in Kotu. Now - this is not an ad for Africell. I first used Qcell and only changed to Africell because the cost was lower. But I have not compared costs since late 2016. So Africell may not be the best deal anymore. And maybe another provider will be better for evening use. Those things I don't know. Mabye someone can let me know the latest about those.

One last thing. I brought my pocket wifi with me. I think some providers here sell them but I bought a good one. I also have no idea if one purchased here is unlocked like mine is, and I also doubt that the ones here would have up to 4G speeds like mine does.

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Serekunda, Gambia
Eton, United Kingdom
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9. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

There are new people with the same questions so still relevant. Same as malaria questions. Nothing changes quickly in TG!

10. Re: Internet providers and pocket wifi

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Removed on: 31 January 2018, 10:06
 
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