NetOne, the only mobile operator locally that has not been providing mobile broadband services commercially, is now ready to launch. We have received tips from NetOne subscribers that starting Saturday, 8 October, the operator started sending an SMS message notifying subscribers the test was over and they had to start paying for the mobile broadband.
The SMS reads:
Harare Internet tests end 09/10/11. Pay $40 monthly for unlimited access. SMS yes/no to 888 to indicate interest or call 123. Visit the nearest shop to sign up.
Yes, NetOne’s mobile broadband will effectively become the lowest priced locally. Telecel Zim charges US $0.11 per megabyte while Econet, the largest mobile operator locally, charges an average of US $0.10 per megabyte depending on the bundle size purchased.
But internet is not just about price. It is quality that matters more than anything else.
A full 3G network is not cheap to deploy and word around suggests only a few of NetOne’s base stations are 3G. NetOne however recently announced they secured funding to help with the mobile broadband rollout, so until the NetOne data coverage map is released, there’s no telling what the 3G coverage is.
We also haven’t tested the NetOne mobile broadband yet so we can’t say for now how stable or fast the service is. But like you, we find the price quite attractive and will have to get a NetOne line and take it through the paces.
Just a note; unlimited and uncapped internet in these parts normally means the provider doesn’t have the billing system in place to charge subscribers for actual usage. Just wondering if that’s the case here. If it is, unlimited won’t last very long.
We’ll be finding out more details about the service and posting updates over the next few days.