A couple of weeks ago, Econet introduced the dream data bundles, an off-peak mobile data package that offers 300 MB for $1. This was the most generous broadband offer to come from the mobile operator, even though some subscribers weren’t thrilled by the 12 am to 5 am access window.
As if in response to that, Econet has followed up the dream data bundles with the Daily Data Bundles. This package(to be activated tonight) offers the same internet access privilege that you’d get with the dream bundles (ie unlimited surfing, browsing, downloading on any platform). The daily bundle is valid for 24 hours so even if you buy it at 11:45 pm it will only expire at 11:45 pm the following day. These bundles are a promotion that will last until the 20th of September 2015.
To access the bundles, users will have to dial *143# select Option 1 – Purchase Special Bundle then select option 4 -Daily Bundle.
There are two daily data bundles; one for 50 cents which will get you 50 MB and the $1 bundle that gets you 250 MB. Currently $1 gets you 10MB on an ordinary data bundle.
In terms of local mobile broadband prices, this offer, along with the Dream Data Bundles package becomes the cheapest on the market, a position that we haven’t normally associated with Econet. The operator did after all point out that its competitive angle isn’t price but the quality of service.
According to Econet, all of this is the positive effect that came from the introduction of a fair usage policy on its Social Media Bundles. When Econet introduced the Lite and Extra variants for its Facebook, WhatsApp and Opera Mini bundles it also made an explicit reference to the throttling of data according to usage patterns.
Apparently this move, though unpopular, created capacity in the network which has now been given to all subscribers through packages like the dream bundles and now these daily bundles. According to officials from Econet;
After the successful implementation of the fair usage policy, we have created capacity on the network and we are pleased to give this back to our customers. The network resources that were being enjoyed by a few of our subscribers can now be enjoyed by the vast majority of our customers. This allowed us to give customers a dream bundle which is usable off peak. As a follow up to this, we are now introducing the daily data bundle. We are working on more offerings, out soon.
All this makes a lot of sense, and it’s easy to take it as the only reason for this change, but the way alternatives for mobile broadband have popped up recently in the form of competitively priced WiFi also can’t be written off.
If you believe in bar talk theories on corporate image management it’s easy to look at this like Econet’s plan to clean up its relationship with its subscribers after it stirred up a hornet’s nest with the social media bundles price adjustment.
When all has been said and done I can’t see why subscribers would care anyway. Mobile broadband just got a lot cheaper, something that is a win, no matter what the motivation.