If you’re a TelOne ADSL customer, then you probably know that TelOne wasn’t enforcing your ADSL package data cap. That is, say you were paying for the US $30 Basic package that has a data cap of 10GB, it was really unlimited; you could literally use 1TB of data if you wanted, without an issue. Well, that honeymoon is over. See, until now, TelOne didn’t have the proper billing system in place to know how much you’d used of your allocated chunk, but starting yesterday all data capping is now being enforced.
Along with that change, TelOne is also introducing a prepaid model. From 1 November onwards, users of ADSL will pay for their usage in advance, and when their month expires, (or they exhaust their data allocation) the billing system will automatically have them disconnected. According to TelOne marketing executive we spoke to, they have given ADSL users some grace period of a number of days before the changeover to take effect.
The model is nothing new in the market; all other internet providers use this model. The change is unlikely to upset ADSL subscribers much though; even with the data caps being enforced, TelOne provides by far the cheapest fixed broadband locally.
The ADSL service was launched last year and since then TelOne has spread it to all the cities in Zimbabwe, but only managed to connect a few thousand customers owing to lacking fixed line infrastructure. Its limited infrastructure means it doesn’t pose much competition to other providers that do wireless broadband.
A government owned company, TelOne is Zimbabwe’s sole fixed line operator. The company has closed its fixed line infrastructure to other internet providers and is currently the only one providing new ADSL connections.