Africom Launches Mobile Broadband, Gives Free Bandwidth for a Month

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As promised last week at the launch of the new red Africom, Africom has launched their mobile broadband service this week.  The mobile broadband service is available in Harare only at the moment. Well, Harare except Mabvuku, Tafara & Chitungwiza. Sorry folks. We’ve been told these areas are getting coverage in the next few weeks. And all cities and towns along the Bulawayo – Mutare road, several weeks later.

So, if you’re in Harare we’d say, go for it. And the reason is this: It’s free unlimited bandwidth until 10 October.

Before we go any further, a small clarification here:  the bandwidth is free but the USB dongle is not. It’s US $70 (excluding VAT) for the USB dongle. We think this is still a very great deal. To put in good perspective, consider that Ecoweb sells their mobile WiMax USB dongle for US $175. And like we said back then when we reviewed Ecoweb’s 4G, we were able find the same spec dongles on the Internet for only US $60. But that’s another story.

The Africom Mobile Broadband Dongle

It’s not clear yet what Africom will charge after this free bandwidth promotion expires, but we hear it’ll be usage based and something around 19 US cents per megabyte.

What should you expect to get in terms of speed? That’s hard to say with certainty because we haven’t tested the service yet. The few people we’ve talked to say they’re loving it. We will try to get a dongle this week and test for ourselves (well, for you actually), but before that maybe just hinting the technology behind the service will give you an idea.

The wireless broadband service is based on CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A, a 3rd generation technology promising peak download speeds of up to 3.1mbps.

Africom becomes the 4th operator to offer mobile broadband after TelOne (CDMA), PowerTel (CDMA) and Econet (EDGE, Mobile WiMax).

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  • Tapiwa

    This is becoming interesting! The actual speed is what we are after…… hope its fast

  • Mickey

    Seems promising, let the air be a highway of data but not just 3.1 to Africom but the world!

  • tapfuma

    true..speed and reliability are two most important factors to the end-user, lets hope they won’t b greedy and end up oversubscribing their network like wat other Zim ISPs normally do.

  • virira

    Just want to say you are doing a great job at Techzim furnishing the populace with the sincere milk of the technical goings-on and not choking us with technical jargon that helps nobody.

    It is my belief that you have become a technology watchdog in Zimbabwe and no player can dare rip people off because they are very afraid of you.

    Paul says in Philipians 4v4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway. Again I say rejoice”

    I say, Thank you. Again I say thanks.

  • Kabweza

    hey there, thanks for the kind comments ;)

  • Maston

    All this noise is all to familiar i remember when econet came with its so-called 3g they ranted and made all sorts of noises with even big billboards to show off their latest tech and i must admit i was a sucker to be one of the first people to get it, wish i hadn’t. On africom they are saying their 3g can reach peak speeds of up to 3.1 mbps the questions is how many people are using it at the same time. Econet couldnt handle 10000 users and now they are only serving us edge they didnt even have the courtesy of telling us they are doing so . If these africom guys are serious they have my money…..

  • Software Developer

    I bought Africom’s dongle and so far so good for all you doubters out there. My next task is to get it to work on linux. Has anyone succeeded on that yet?

  • farai senah

    if they will offer all that they are saying i believe i have fallen in love. we have been left behind long enough. Africom you will be most welcome.

  • munashe

    i think the hype is good but guys why don’t we wait and see what africom can offer from previous dealings they are not up to their word just like all ISP’s in zim.

  • Jabulani Chirinda

    hope africom gives u (techzim) dongle for free for making a review because u deserve a free dongle for that purpose.

  • Richard

    Nineteen US$ cents per minute means that a 700mb movie file will cost $133.00 to download. I paid one Rand cent per meg in South Africa recently, Africom will be 138 times more expensive than an internet cafe in SA.

  • test

    test

  • samuel

    pliz may u send me the qoutation for the broadband..i stay in b’bridge

  • ox

    3.1 mbps is for ox cart users

  • Keith Evans

    I have noted that those who make the most noise don’t deliver much to customers. I am using ZARNet’s internet services and I tell you, you better try it. They now have a good service and a home solution that they call the portable USB WiMAX . It’s fast , uncontended
    and uncaped bandwidth. I am paying $65 per month . These guys are still very flexible because they gave me to test it for a day and i was impreesed. Its been a month and I am satisfied. They also have good support. I think it’s worthy to try their services