How expensive is it to go online in Zim?: An overview of prices for internet services

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TelOne ADSL

2015 started off with mobile subscribers celebrating the good news that as had been promised, the voice tariffs for the country’s mobile network operators had been reduced. Unfortunately we didn’t see a tumble in the cost of mobile data accompanying this change.

The same could be said for internet services across the board actually. Despite a tighter economic environment ISPs weren’t exactly falling over themselves to offer cheaper services.

In fact some like Powertel actually made the internet more expensive. Some like TelOne have revised their ADSL prices downwards and others like Africom have come up with a cheaper product that ensure some form of internet connection on a low budget.

We all know that internet services are expensive locally but how much does it really cost to get a good internet package? What sort of damage are you looking at financially?

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Well, In the interest of providing everyone with an overview of how much the internet costs in Zimbabwe we have listed below the latest prices for most of the local internet services from different ISPs, IAPs and the 3 Mobile Network Operators.

These are mostly Wimax packages with most of the fibre packages and the VSAT offerings that form the minority of connections not reflected here.

All the tariffs listed below rightly reflect the huge cost of local internet services, even though they are significantly lower than what we used to fork out some years ago.

The average amount you need to pay for a decent connection is in the region of $25 per month (check on TelOne ADSL, Africom and mobile network operator broadband). This is assuming that you won’t be out to use all data for torrents of course.

We can only hope that these prices are going to be revised downwards again, something that positively influences internet penetration.

What are your own thoughts on the cost of internet in Zimbabwe? What do you think we should be paying for these services as a fair price?

 

Mobile Network Operator Broadband Prices

Data Price (US$)
*All prices are for bundle rates
Econet Wireless BroadbandNetOne BroadbandTelecel Broadband
0.505MB8MB4.8MB
110MB17MB9.5MB
3-70MB76MB
580MB125MB142.5MB
10200MB285MB304MB
20500MB670MB800MB
30-1GB-
351GB--
45--2GB
502.5GB2GB-
75--4GB

 

Africom Internet Packages

Package/ BundlePriceValidity (Days)
MiChoice - (Offers Unlimited Social Media Access, Browsing)
MiChoice Bronze$5 7
MiChoice Silver$1014
MiChoice Gold$2530
Flexi - Bundles (Pay As You Go Data Package)
11MB$130
50MB$530
200MB$1530
500MB$2030
1GB$4030
2GB$6030
3GB$7530
5GB$12530
10GB$25030

 

Aptics Internet Packages

Package(all packages are unlimited)Cost($US)Speed
Aptics Bargain50256Kbps
Aptics Basic75512Kbps
Aptics Standard1201Mbps
Aptics Deluxe1802Mbps

 

iWay Africa Home Internet Packages

PackageCost ($US)SpeedData Allowance
Mobile Internet423.1Mbps download speedunlimited
WiMaxfrom 99from 1Mbpsfrom 40GB p/m
Fibrefrom 99from 1Mbpsfrom 40GB p/m

 

Powertel Internet Packages

Data BundleCost ($US)
1 GB23
2GB39
3GB58
20GB230

 

uMax Internet Packages

musheMAXmonthlyMAXskyMAX
$45/ month$75/month$150/month
15GB allowance40 GB allowance150 GB allowance
2 Mbps download speed3 Mbps speedup to 5 Mbps
15GB access off-peak (12am -6am)40 GB accessible off-peak (between 10pm and 6am)Unlimited access off peak (between 10pm and 6am)

 

Yo Africa WiMax Packages

PackageCost($US)Speed
Mild70512Kbps
Medium110up to 1Mbps
Hot160up to 1.5Mbps

 

TelOne ADSL Packages 

Package Price($US)Download Cap
Basic2510GB
Silver4525GB
Gold8550GB
Platinum160Unlimited

 

ZOL ZImbabwe Home Internet Packages

Package Price ($US)Speed
Plus49up to 1Mbps
Enhanced99up to 2Mbps
Ultra129up to 3Mbps
ZOL Fibroniks
Basic Essentials39up to 5Mbps (capped at 15GB p/m)
Family Essentials89up to 10Mbps (capped at 30GB p/m)
Family Entertainment149up to 20Mbps (unlimited)
Modern Family199up to 30Mbps (unlimited)
Power Pack259up to 50Mbps (unlimited)
Turbo339up to 100Mbps (unlimited)

30 Comments

  1. Les says:

    Great read. What would be interesting though would be a comparison with other countries. For example, for the equivalent of $ 50, one gets close to 10gb in Nigeria and this is super-fast no-nonsense broadband. Is it because we have a small market that our rates are so expensive? It wouldn’t be such an issue if the services were reliable, but we are paying too much for very shoddy services. Shouldn’t POTRAZ step in and do something?

    1. Optimus Prime says:

      A better comparison would be with landlocked countries; Zambia, etc. Could countries such as Kenya, SA, and Naija not have less expensive broadband due to direct access to the coast?

  2. admire says:

    netone has a 50 cent bundle its 8mb. Nyc article thanks

    1. Nigel Gambanga says:

      Thanks, I’ve made the adjustment

  3. King says:

    We are being extorted, period. The prices for the crappy service they provide is astronomical. Whe ZOL says up to 1MB, you wonder when and how it actually gets to that mythical 1MB. It’s almost, always on 256k. Econet has no regard for their customers especially considering the price to quality ratio..its 10:1, I think we simply need more players in the industry and maybe this might force the prices to go down. I once asked someone who works at one ISP, why thier charges are so ridiculous, and they simply said…”if you own the backbone of the internet, you charge what ever you like”

    1. fourwallsinaroom says:

      I beg to differ. Econet legacy wimax at 2.5c per MB gives u 3Mbps all day if you have good signal. HSUPA/HSDPA gives on average 4Mbps once again if you are in a good area.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i prefer Aptics Internet Packages becouse they are unlimited, can aptics quickly grow so that we all enjoy

    1. fourwallsinaroom says:

      not really, aptics buys internet from liquid do a trace route and you will see

  5. Castro says:

    From that article Telone is the only reasonable provider of data. 25GB at $45 is ok for a home user. The other ISPs are rubbish.. Total crap..

    1. ? says:

      I assumed such comparisons are supposed to be categorized into wireless providers and wired providers. The cost of a wireless last mile is always more expensive and that is a fact. TelOne’s copper is cheaper be it CAPEX or OPEX terms.

  6. Ini says:

    Internet rates in Zimbabwe are high its true, but the show of ignorance gets me wondering what you use the internet for???? Before you compare the rates in Zim and elsewhere, look at the costs. That is the same reason why you cannot compare the price of petrol in Zimbabwe and in Nigeria let alone our neighbours in South Africa. Same applies with comparison with the rates on fibre and 3G let alone ADSL. Businesses do not just wake up in the morning and dream up prices/tariffs but there are structures in place to determine prices. The biggest problem with IT/ICT guys is the blinkers on your heads. Take your eyes off the screen, look at ISP or MNO financials for once. Understand what they are going through, learn terms like costs structure, depreciation, profit/loss before you use words like extortion. If you do that, your so called start-ups might see the light of day. Great article, I like it. Now lets investigate why in the next article.

    1. farayi1981 says:

      At Ini, could you explain what has changed the cost structures at Econet for them to reduce tariffs by about 30%? I believe none.Generally and the world over when business do not have competition or adequate regulation they want to profiteer and extort customers. Zimbabwe ISP providers need more players , the same with mobile companies. PERIOD. I wonder why the government is so stingy with the licencing?

      1. fourwallsinaroom says:

        you do not purchase base stations everyday. Those are one of purchases or maybe ten year capex. (dont quote me on the years) so over time the basestation is an asset that no longer has certain expenses loan repayments etc.

    2. Evans says:

      A cost analysis was done by POTRAZ and all the Mobile operators which showed that they were reaping us and they never complained! Meaning they were reaping us for sure! You can be so emotional whay are they now reducing? What is changing on the costing structure? They are used to Zim$s hence the extortion!

  7. taf says:

    as one who doesnt have blinkers on you should understand that high price alone doesnt determine revenue but demand also and high prices are affecting demand

  8. Observer says:

    Internet in Zimbabwe is still truly a luxury but I suppose its because we really dont have a truly competitive telecoms sector in terms of price and value offering!

  9. Anonymous 2 says:

    If netone would bring telone rates over to mobile they would SLAY everyone, network quality be damned!

  10. Blessing says:

    Talk about the fake ZOL Unlimited Broadband. I signed up for the $59 Wimax package after ZOL Sales had told me ” We offer Zimbabwe’s widest broadband coverage. Stream, watch, listen and download without limits. We do traffic shaping during working hours but there is no shaping or restrictions after hours at a speed of up to 1mbps”. 10 days into the month, the link slowed down to a crawl to such an extent that you could not even send a whatsapp message.

    I called ZOL support, and got the following response:
    “Thank you very much for your call. As per our tele-conversation, your link/account *****, is experiencing slow speeds at the moment because it has exceeded the package’s quota limit of 8GB. Zol has set quotas (monthly, daily, hourly) that enable the even distribution of shared bandwidth to the entire subscriber base by use of a bandwidth management tool. If you are regularly exceeding your agreed Internet usage limit/ set quotas you will be given the opportunity to upgrade your package” The support guy also informed me that the speeds could be throttled to as low as 0kbps and that i should have read and understood the vague Terms and Conditions.

    Too bad i had not been informed of such restrictions nor had we “agreed” on any internet usage limits. I guess cheap is expensive.

    1. ADM says:

      There is nothing to “understand” coz there is NOWHERE where such terms and conditions are written. Trust me, I’ve looked. And even asked one support guy to email me such documents but he didn’t have them. If you can afford to change, do so because ZOL will not change.

  11. mukwambo says:

    i think that telone has improved greatly both in pricing and quality of service, i recently had telone installed at my home the basic service and i can say that they really have stepped up their game.

  12. Chambwe says:

    I am paying $70 for unlimited broadband (13 MB/s) plus home phone with unlimited local calls in Australia and Australia is an island thats far from anyone else except New Zealand. Their costs should be higher than Zimbabwe which has sea cables less than 500 km away. The truth is Zimbabwean companies are just reaping off clients because there is no competition or control! Potraz has engineers who know zilch…and these phone and internet companies are just making a killing from clients with little choice.

  13. Wil says:

    Tel-One is really doing well these days. I have their basic package for 25 bucks and they said its now upto 1Mbps and thats what I get consistently.

  14. Tendai Murewe says:

    All these packages offer speeds of “upto” xMbps. Why not replace x with 100Mbps, because even 56kbps will still be an honestly compliant “upto” speed. I know after fighting ZOL for some months, they told me their speed that they advertise is only within their network, as they do not control the internet. So if the throttle you down at their edge router, they can just blame the Internet. And yes, Harare.speedtest.net is inside ZOL’s network, so its customers always get their speeds….until they download from outside the ZOL network. The number of users sharing your bandwidth pipe on shared packages is apparently a trade secret. Why? Unhappiness at the edge router throttling is met with a offer to sell you a dedicated package.

  15. Falifa says:

    I get a steady 2mps downlink speed with Telkom South Africa’s ADSL for just the equivalent of $37 each month and it is excellent. I can stream and download and have a number of devices using the connection with little lag around the house. I have looked at how much bundled 3g data costs here and in Kenya in comparison to what we get in Zim. We are being robbed, there is not a single service provider that offers great value both monetarily and experientally. The ZOL ADSL packages sound affordable but then the further away you live from the exchange the slower your speed and all the small print apparently. We deserve better!

  16. kuda20101 says:

    Telone has the best deal at the moment. The quality is also good. l hope they will keep up the good work

  17. vinkaks says:

    This article should have included where applicable, installation costs..some of them are prohibitive

  18. mushtella says:

    so zol decided to reduce their entry package from $89 to $39 and still make a profit. kkk profeteering in a big way, ripping us off

  19. Anonymous says:

    Can I have a comment on Yo Africa’s service?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Telone package is the best at the moment. Hope you continue to improve on quality and someday further price reductions.

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