Airtel Uganda’s 5G Smart Box Unlimited Internet – Is It Worth It?

There has been a lot of debate about Airtel Uganda’s 5G Smart Box and its “unlimited” internet, with many wondering if it’s worth getting. This prompted us to order one and test it out for ourselves. Here’s what we found.

Easy Setup
After contacting Airtel through one of their official channels, we received a call from a representative who confirmed our order and provided clear instructions on the required documents (National ID and email) for activation and how to pay using a USSD code. We sent the payment via Airtel Pay and forwarded the confirmation screenshot along with the necessary details to the representative’s WhatsApp. The device was delivered that very same day.

What’s in the Box
The box includes the 5G Smart Box router, a power cable, a power bank, a LAN cable, two user manuals (which we recommend reading), and an Airtel SIM card. Setting up the 5G Smart Box is quite simple—unlike the Airtel XStream Wi-Fi fiber network that comes with the complexities of installing cables to your home by technicians.

Not Quite Unlimited
Unfortunately, after setting the device in its place, we had to wait for nearly 48 hours for activation. When the activation was completed and the internet was on, we discovered that the device wasn’t truly unlimited. However, it comes with data packages that can last a month for moderate users. It’s a good option for most startups in Uganda, small households, or busy individuals who are not heavy internet users.

While the user manuals, included materials, and even the Airtel representative we spoke with made no mention of data caps, we found a page on Airtel’s website that listed the device’s internet bundle packages, which have capped data. All these packages come with a Fair Usage Policy (FUP), an additional 200GB of data at a reduced speed of 2 Mbps.

The Device
One key feature of this router is that it remains cool even with multiple devices connected and can run for days without heating up or slowing down. Additionally, the included power bank can provide up to 6-8 hours of backup power in case of outages.

Who Should Consider This
Despite the data caps, the 5G Smart Box is still a good buy. We recommend this device for people who already have good Airtel mobile internet reception in their area and are not heavy data users. It’s also a good option for internet users on a budget who are aware of their data usage.

This internet solution is ideal for people or businesses in residential areas without fiber optic cable access or frequent movers who don’t want to deal with installation hassles. The 5G Smart Box is portable and fits in a backpack for travelers, however, keep in mind it needs to be upright and on a flat surface to function properly.

We hope this review helps you decide if the Airtel Uganda 5G Smart Box is right for you.

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Picture of Isaac Odwako O.
Isaac Odwako O.
Okumu Isaac Odwako, professionally known as Isaac Nymy, is a Ugandan internet entrepreneur and digital designer. He is the founder and CEO of Nymy Media and the founder of Nymy Net.
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