Telecel this week announced a promotional slash of mobile broadband prices by some 50% in a move that may trigger other mobile operators to respond to remain competitive. The second largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe now effectively has the lowest priced mobile broadband in the country. Amoung mobile operators that is. The new Telecel charges are still more expensive per megabyte than those offered by internet service providers like Africom and Zimbabwe Online.
The price slash has been crafted to encourage users to buy large data bundles as only the 55MB and larger bundles are now cheaper, with the largest bundle (the 3GB one) costing as little as US 2.5 cents per megabyte. The 5MB and 10MB bundles remain unchanged at 50 cents and one dollar respectively.
In comparison, the Econet prices for data per megabyte start at US 7 cents (for a 1.2GB) up to 15 cents per megabyte (for a 1MB bundle). Econet is the largest mobile operator in the country by number of subscribers. NetOne, the smallest mobile operator in the country, charges
10 7 cents per MB for all data usage.
ISPs ZOL and Africom charge $20 and $25 for a gigabyte bundle a month respectively. Still, both go nowhere near the data coverage the three GSM mobile operators offer. Africom’s CDMA mobile broadband service is limited to the country’s main cities, while the ZOL service referred to here is internet via Wi-Fi hotspots mainly in restaurants.
Back to the Telecel data promo, what subscribers will need to know (and indeed what some don’t get) is that to access these new data prices they will have to buy bundles and not just use their voice airtime to browse the internet. Using the voice airtime will attract the old 10 cents per megabyte charge.
Telecel subscribers will be able to start buying data at the new prices on Monday, 14 May.
update: Here’s the full list of the new promo prices:
- 55MB bundle, which normally costs $5, will be $2,50 (4,55 cents /MB).
- 55MB bundle, which normally costs $45, will be $22,50 (4,09 cents /MB)
- 1,250MB bundle, which normally costs $85, will be $42,50 (3.4 cents /MB)
- 3,000MB bundle, which normally costs $150, will be $75 (2.5 cents /MB)