Powertel ditches unlimited mobile internet plans, introduces usage based bundles

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powertel-no-unlimitedPowertel notified its subscribers today that starting 1 October, all mobile internet will be usage based. That is: subscribers will have to buy Gigabytes of data to use at a time. This is a departure from their daily, weekly and monthly unlimited bundles which they had come to be loved for.

Here are the Gigabyte based bundles that will come into effect from 1 October 2014:

  • $23 will get you 1GB of data
  • $39 will buy 2GB
  • $58 will buy 3GB
  • and so on to about $230 that buys 20GB.

The new pricing model just throws PowerTel back into the ordinary service category. This can’t be compared anymore to what Econet offers in the WhatsApp and Facebook bundles arena. Can’t even compete with Africom’s recently announced unlimited bundles (network coverage permitting that is) Zimbabweans are strapped for cash seriously right now and the less in absolute dollars they can pay just to get whatever kind of connectivity, the better. This is why the unlimited app specific bundles make sense. $3 for Facebook only a month means someone will do all their communication, file sharing, Zvirikufaya naKeda video watching and and whatever, on Facebook.

But even if people had the 10s and 20s to pay for mobile internet in a month, Powertel themselves were selling unlimited internet for just $35. Now, that can’t even buy you 2GB. We doubt Powertel has a choice. The internet economics are brutal. The unlimited internet was probably bleeding them too much revenue.

Powertel was relied on by many a startup and students to connect to the internet and download, upload stuff, take tutorials, read and do basic social media stuff. That may change. We don’t know by how much, but if you are a Powertel user, please let us know what this means for your connectivity?

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63 Comments

  1. Tawanda Moyo says:

    I’m ditching it. I can’t use limited Internet.

  2. ADM says:

    Sad – we are going backwards.

  3. Shapiro says:

    TelOne ADSL far much better @ 25$/m

  4. cam says:

    dang, just wen i was starting to enjoy it

  5. macd chip says:

    Zol is charging $59 for unlimited basic package which lm using and enjoying

    Pure madness at Powertel.

    Manje vanhu vanobhururuka sehwiza vachitiza.

  6. lost me says:

    Dear Powertel, I’d like to wish you all the best of luck in all your future endevours. I will however not be a part of them. Cheers!

  7. Bullet Dodged says:

    I guess I should be even more grateful that they didn’t have any dongles the day I went!!

  8. Zibbo says:

    Goodbye torrrents

  9. Brijoe says:

    it has been a good journey farewell Powertel, you really did it during your time, but for now we say there are better competitors out there, you just lost it guys.

  10. Casie says:

    Hahahaha Powertel you just turned yourselves into a crazy company…. Whatever you think you are doing its not cool… Its not even funny…. Guess well enjoy seeing your banner as we walk past your shops while we look for better alternatives.

  11. shangri lin says:

    aaaaaaaaa…..zvikumbofamba sei.. ndatone mamodem hobho..wese ada pinda mubhizness anotochita..hanzi unlimited data….tagara mochinja…techzim make a plan cz sum countries..net is almost free

  12. wega haugaye says:

    If you are just to basics (no torrents ) move your Powertel dongle to Africom

    They say its works

  13. Farai says:

    Those prices are straight from gutter. Silly and ridiculous and with airtime/data tax “chowing” away at povo’s dollars, who would use services?

    I foresee increases from everyone also as the tax takes effect

  14. taraz says:

    I find this being ‘unethical’ to say the least. A few months back powertel enticed us to buy their dongle because of their ‘unlimited-bait’. Now that we have invested in their dongle & have somehow been rendered locked-in customers, they have the temerity of throwing below the belt blows

  15. Anonymous says:

    Whoever is in charge at Powertel has failed, after the company has become bankrupt please don’t employ that person it will be a recipe for disaster. Even if there was no option that was not an option from unlimited to 2GB! It’s a pity, farewell powertel.

  16. purpledragon says:

    Good bye powertel…..Thanks for the ride but unfortunately you have become a bit too expensive. The reason i fell in love with you even though you had atrociously low speeds is gone.

    1. purpledragon says:

      I think its time i went and enquired about telone’s adsl service……………….i hope they still provide free installation for lines

  17. Terry says:

    We have moved from network to network,believe me a new hero will always rise for the people,for now our brothers learning in the diaspora will resume supplies of series

  18. mad says:

    bye bye ndoyenda

  19. mutape says:

    kutamba hakubvaruke powertel, dai mangowedzera henyu price taifara kwete kubva marasika kudaro

  20. mutape says:

    techzim can you do us a favour and write an article on unlimited packages out there. thanx

    1. Anonymous says:

      mutape the only isp offering cheap unlimited bandwidth is zol for 59

  21. Sad Day says:

    The service was not that great but takamboshingirira but now kushingirira kuchange kwave kunetsa.. ZB bank you wont see me paying there again..

    Saka mati Africom chiiiii??

  22. caleb says:

    They are a parastatal. They don’t care.

  23. huniland says:

    hahahahahaha. hapasisina madhiri. this is the worst decision evva in the history of internet service. i will be frank. all powertel modems are turning into card readers. hansichatsikiko till we have unlimited internet. how can i pay more thatln $20 for a gig. ndombanje manje dzamakuwanza idzi. pane anozuvawo kuti telone inovhurwa nguvai. im switcing to adsl. powertel ndasvipura pasi. tsvuuuuu!!!!!!

  24. Afrique says:

    What a con. As I type they are still advertising 50c a day unlimited net. I head Africom SIM card work in Powertel dongle . But I couldn’t manage to make it work. Is there anyone who managed and what’s the settings ?

  25. Francis Bingandadi says:

    ThanksTechzim for the story and your observations. May you please do us a graphic (tabular) analyses of who offers mobile internet services and what they are charging now for us to decide on who is cheaper and better. For the internet services operator like Econet here is a chance, please lower your rates and get all the digruntled poortel clients

  26. eric says:

    At least they could have started by improving their network, on top of it all they switch off electricity for over half a day. Indeed we just have to move. They will see a drastic fall in revenue come the 1st of October. Unlimited Failure

  27. cm says:

    torai internet yenyu toenda telone ipai vana venyu internet yacho

  28. drefo says:

    I am a student in my third year doing accounting , POWERTEL has been a great help in the pursuit of my and many others i know qualifications , through its unlimited mobile plans ,it will definitely have an adverse effect on us due to our “limited” disposable income .however i am grateful for the time given to us and I’d like to wish you all the best of luck in all your future endeavors . and yes i have no alternative but to switch ISP. On that note please post on the other ISP offers available would be great help thanks in advance.

  29. Anonymous says:

    dont think anyone will want to continue to use powertel after this

  30. Anonymous says:

    stop moaning and move over to telone….

  31. Dr says:

    zvakaoma izvi!!!

  32. jay jay says:

    i just bought a pwertel modem last month this is riddiculous, ndaitiza africom m going back home since they have announced unlimited plans. powertel just shot themselves in the foot.who ever making those decision will regret.

  33. Bright says:

    what about the powertel E-learning package, what then happens

  34. Ha says:

    Poewrtel marketing dept needs to be fired on toto. Powertel had fibre 5 years before anybody else . They just sat on it and never bothered to sell it even as they watched all the other competitors dig up trenches from Mutare and Beit Bridge. The penny did not even drop when the fibres reached Harare. Powertel marketing continued to sleep on the job. When the more organised Econet and the others started selling bandwidth Powertel still could not capitalze on their lead. Their service remained poor , their sales teams totally useless. They wanted to make you believe THEY were doing you a favour. Giving band width for free was their belated response to a very strong and organised competition. They thought that just by selling cheap they did not need to improve the service. They lost the blue chip customers and only attracted desperately poor students who are now leaving in droves . Poewrtel , the latest move is suicidal . Bye bye DEADTEL. I doubt if you can come back.

  35. silenhlanhla says:

    i bought the Powertel dongle about 2 weeks back..was enjoying the unlimited data.Im now regretting,the charges are just too much…

  36. Sifiso says:

    very funny

  37. 4eyed kimo says:

    #RIP POWER. .ok I wil admit that I was one of those people who abuse my unlimited ptel 100+gig of downloads in 3months but truth b told ptel net work suckd service delivery even worse it was good will it lasted now we are left with 22$ card readers wat a waste

  38. VaJohn says:

    They are a parastatal, thus all they have done is eliminate my entire student body. campus was now filled with these blue, white and yellow dongles, ever so slow internet but who really cared as long as it helped complete a project or watch an episode of a series you missed on TV thanks to tons of school work. Who ever does stay with them, is twice the fool compared to who ever changed the tarrifs. Anyone out there who can point a lost student to an affordable mobile ISP ?

  39. Anonymous says:

    kana zvadai zvavakureva kuti toda ma companies cover gap coz its a business gap kah apa vamweni vakutoti zvedu zvaita vakutotora mari ie ZOL. N ECONET

  40. truth says:

    THIS IS JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW POOR OUR GOVERNMENT IS. IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT THIS IS A GVT LINKED ORGANISATION… INCREASE YOUR PRICES TO $50 A MONTH JUST ENOUGH CANCEL YOUR STUDENT PACKAGES. ADVERTISE THIS IN THE PAPERS FOR A GOOD TOO WEEKS STRAIGHT AND FOR 1 MONTH DO RADIO INTERVIEWS EXPLAINING WHY YOU THOUGHT TO DO WHAT YOU THOUGHT TO DO. This must be done by the person responsible for the decision in the first place. not a representative or else we just wont respect your leadership.

  41. Inini says:

    It was good while it lasted, Adios

  42. Anonymous says:

    I really did my best whilst the package lasted lol. Atleast Powertel banking halls shall be filled with people paying for ZESA.

  43. Shareen says:

    After months of complaining of browsing speeds, it definitely is not worth my time and money continuing with Powertel. Their service has deteriorated drastically over the months. This is the final straw! I refuse to be bullied on such short notice to comply with this extortion!!

  44. majork says:

    powertel you heard these comments they ain’t jokes this is real. beware of losing your customers …

  45. 4eyed kimo says:

    How stupid can powertel b 15$ used to b a month its now 2gig who can afford tat most of us are students I predict POWERTEL is going bankrupt. I walkd by fidelity building in Byo today, for the first time ever it was EMPTY no1 paying for net no1 buying dongle it was just dead
    .just like ptel in a months time it wil b dead and irrelavant something will surely come up…………….TELONE ,ADSL……. AFROCOM ?

  46. justjoe says:

    it wz gud while it lasted, farewell powertel

  47. Magic Stick says:

    powertel bloody bastards…afta bng so loyal buy payin monthly nd bng vry patient evn tho e speeds wer vry slow,thy turnout nd mak a sudden stupid move…….am grateful fo al de torrents i got usin pwtel bt thn unfortunately ths z e end of road btwn me nd e morons..RIP pwrtl

  48. Anonymous says:

    TS GOOD BYE FOR NOW GUYS

  49. ZVI ZVI OF MARONDERA says:

    TIME TO SEPERATE BOYS FROM MAN THANK POWERTELL HOPEFULLY NOW WE CAN GET BETTER SPEEDS

  50. mishan says:

    kkkkk ayahs powertel munodziya musoro the move u made inoratidza sezvinonzi hatina other options to be connected , and what yu shld know is that switching costs are very low and from today onwards u wont even have one customer….

  51. Anonymous says:

    kkkk han kumhamhya kwataita tatiza poor marrkting strategy

  52. Flint says:

    All profits back to the internet cafes….

  53. Anonymous says:

    Goodbye Powertel. Makatijuta! Hamuna kana kumboti notifyer isu vamwe. Zvisinei hazvo hamuchafe makationa ikoko kusatoti madzosazve unlimited. Ndiyo yatinoda. Semafungiro angu muchanyura

  54. Sir James says:

    powertel hausi tsotsi, dongle rako ndarikanda muna Save river, wish you the best. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

    1. Sir James says:

      ZOL @ $59 unlimited inofaya bye bye money monger powertel, kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

  55. 4eyed kimo says:

    October 2 at 1700hrs powertel became as irrelevant as dog poo

  56. edwin says:

    apa mawanza mari yakuwandirai, munofunga kuti inobvepi mari yakawanda kudaro ku cafe kuri nani, mucha reducer zvenyu bcoz as far as l am concern l dont think that people will come over to that null and void development.

  57. Charlie says:

    Bad decision Powertel.It would have been better to increase the price of the unlimited access bundle.
    Standby for some hard lessons on prices as a function of supply and demand.

  58. Powertel Limited says:

    So subscribers, we have heard your woes, as we Powertel limited we can no longer go unlimited and those are market rates, you are free to go for other competitors in the league.

  59. Zim select says:

    We bought their dongles under the guise that we were going to get unlimited Internet .I guess it was too good to be true. Now that dongle is worthless, it just a piece of plastic.

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