In what will become the lowest priced voice call deal in Zimbabwe, Africom revealed today that the company is now offering unlimited calls for just $10 a month within the network. The revelation was made on the company’s new website that came online today. Africom’s follows hot on the heels of Brodacom’s almost similar announcement last night, which we posted here earlier. The Africom price, which we have confirmed is a promotion, is $5 cheaper than Brodacom.
It’s not clear yet if the deal is limited to a specific device that you need buy from Africom (like the Brodacom $15 one), if it’s paired to another service the company offers or if this is available to any subscriber using Africom voice services. We have sent Africom some questions and we will post the responses as soon as we receive them.
One of Zimbabwe’s 12 licensed Internet Access Providers (IAP), Africom started offering mobile telephony services in June last year, introducing the lowest mobile telephony tariffs on the market. This latest offering makes their offering even more attractive.
Despite the significantly lower tariffs, new voice providers in Zimbabwe like Africom and Brodacom are battling to attract voice customers away from the incumbent GSM operators (Econet, Telecel and NetOne). So far the main reason cited is the difference of technology (the new operators use CDMA based technologies) which makes it costly for subscribers migrate, and limited network coverage. Network coverage by the new entrants, while available in major cities and some towns, will take a while before it can match the GSM operators, who now have coverage in most rural areas and along the country’s highways.
Another problem new entranced have faced is interconnection, with major delays experienced interconnecting with the incumbent GSM operators and the fixed line operator. Information we have suggests that Africom is yet to commercialize an interconnection agreement with NetOne, almost a year after launch of voice services on the network. Brodacom too hasn’t secured commercial interconnection agreements with both NetOne and TelOne.