Why the new uMAX internet packages are great deals!

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A few days ago uMAX the company announced some changes. Here are some extracts from the announcement:

musheMAX customers are now entitled to 15GB data allowance with an additional 15GB of Midnight Express browsing from 00h00-06h00 every night. That’s all included in the standard $45 per month service fee. If you require more data within the same month, simply top up and continue browsing at the same rate as your regular plan. That’s $3/GB.

monthlyMAX customers are now entitled to 40GB data allowance with an additional 40GB of night browsing including the Chill Out period from 22h00-00h00 and Midnight Express browsing from 00h00-06h00 every night. That’s all included in the standard $75 per month service fee. If you require more data within the same month, simply top up and continue browsing at the same rate as your regular plan. That’s $1.88/GB.

skyMAX is the latest and fastest service plan from uMAX offering 150GB data allowance with free night browsing (22h00-06h00) all for $150 a month! skyMAX offers a MAXimum altitude speed of 5Mbps. Still need more data in the same month? Simply top up at your standard rate of $1/GB and continue browsing.

There are some key things about the uMAX’s adjustment which put the uMAX deals amoung the best on the market. I’ve already emphasised it in bold above, but let me quickly compare the two it to other fixed internet packages on the market:

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  1. musheMax – $45 a month for 15GB + 15GB night browsing. To up at the same rate of $3/GB
    • Compared to TelOne:
      – $42 buys you 25GB. However no night browsing.
      – Once you have exhausted the initial package you can’t buy per GB. Only option is buy another $42 bundle.
      – TelOne’s speed is up to 2Mbps which doesn’t promise any minimums. While uMAX used to emphasize 1mbps minimum speed, they had skipped that altogether now.
    • Compared to ZOL:
      The closet wireless package is the $49 WiMAX package. My experience with it was not the best and I take care not to recommend it to anyone who wants stable internet. Definitely didn’t compare to the stability I got on my uMAX when I used it.
      – ZOL’s fibre is good and starts at an entry price of $39 for 15GB, which seems cheaper until you install it and realise super fast internet also means super fast depletion of that 15GB.
      – No night browsing. You midnight data eats into your 15GB
      – Once the 15GB is exhausted, you start buying at an expensive high $7 per GB.
    • YoAfrica:
      – No package around $40
    • Telco Velocity:
      – Starts at $42 for 18GB of data but no night browsing
      – Not clear what the top up model is
  2. monthlyMax – $75 a month for 40GB + 40GB night browsing. To up at the same rate of $1.88/GB
    • Compared to TelOne:
      – $89 buys you uncapped browsing at 1mbps. I personally would choose this over capped internet. Having never used this package yet though, I have no idea how the “up to 1mbps” holds up.
    • Compared to ZOL:
      – $89 buys 30GB of data
      – no night browsing so you’re eating into your data even at night
      – when you exhaust the 30GB, you start buying at $7 per GB, again this is very expensive in comparison.
    • YoAfrica:
      – $70 package offers uncapped internet for a maximum of 2 people. Yes, they mention that it’s for 1-2 users, which made us very curious about the quality. No minimum speed spec.
    • Telco:
      – The $63 for 39GB is the closest deal and we are very curious to get more information on this deal as it seems to compare very favourably.
      – Top ups are available per GB but again no prices mentioned which is not helpful.

 

A transparent unchanging price per GB

Form our first quick analysis (and no doubt we will be getting emails from people providing us more data) the uMAX deal is something everyone should seriously consider but I think only the musheMAX and monthyMAX are candidates for serious considering. It’s clearly cheaper than ZOL’s fibre packages and only losing to the TelOne $89 package which I’m personally yet to sample.

Some of you will ofcourse say it’s apples and oranges to compare uMAX wireless to a ZOL’s fibre but the fact that the fibre is capped takes away the speed advantage completely. In fact, speed becomes your enemy – a small mistake (leaving torrents on for 30 minutes) means no more internet, or fork out $7 for a gigabyte, which itself will be depleted in 5 minutes if you don’t fix whatever is eating the data.

That point there is the biggest reason the new uMAX deals should be seriously considered. When you buy 15GB internet for $39, quickly exhaust it and are surprised to realise the price has changed from $2.6/GB to $7/GB you feel the price was deliberately designed to lure you in then hammer you hard. Yes you were supposed to read the full pricing and consider all scenarios except most of us buy with our optimist hat on!

By having an unchanging price per GB, the uMAX pricing feels transparent. Whether that was incidental or deliberate, we have no idea; we’re just happy they did and most internet customers will likely appreciate as well.


Why would I want skyMAX?

That said, the $150 for 150GB skyMAX package is not making any sense yet as a new deal that’s supposed to appeal to the internet service buying person in Zimbabwe. The only situation I can think of where skyMAX would be the better deal than, say, ZOL’s $149 uncapped package, is if you don’t have fibre in your area. But considering the last I checked uMAX was itself only available in medium to low density suburbs – where liquid has laid fibre – chances are slim it would ever be the better deal.



19 Comments

  1. Chikosi says:

    What is the cost of installation?

    1. Malcom X says:

      Installation is FREE

  2. D Munn says:

    All the ISP’s are still ripping customers, internet should be very fast and bandwidth priced correctly. There is no point in offering night browsing when speed is somehow compromised. I believe ISP’s should make internet access ubiquitous and target customers in large numbers (or volume) and sell a Gig at most for $2 and customers should pay less per gig if they use a lot of bandwidth within a given period. Whatever price ISP’s decide to sell their bandwidth for we should not even be talking of speeds in this day and age, customers should just get super fast speeds.

    1. Gg says:

      Listen even when im at scgool my inlimited cellphone plan is capped at 23gb and my wireless/cable id more or less at 100gb so there are economics involved in this. At a certain point theee id tthe cost of other isps and improvement and reinvest:ent needs to befactored unless you are willing to live with 5mbs internet for the next decade

    2. potraz & ZIMRA says:

      Take it up with Potraz and ZIMRA, they are the 2 main causes for expensive internet in Zim!

  3. Gg says:

    Hahaha happy for days cz lets be honest if umax keeps the standards it had ant 150-250kb/s download then its a better deal than telone and zol since its more speed and stability

  4. Shepherd Nhongo says:

    Make the internet Affordable.

    Why do you all still cap internet ? Break the new ground by making money out of SALES Volumes rather than sales value. uMax to me sounds like a big organised brand but sometimes looking at it comparing it from regional ISP’s i can only wonder what is missing there .

  5. Research & Think says:

    From what I see the only connection you’ve used here is the ZOL Wimax.
    In short you’re speculating on how these connections would be like to live with daily.

    I use the ZOL Wimax during the day it’s almost impossible to use because of congestion.Zol has a rating system that allocates bandwidth based on usage patterns, so if you rape your connection you’ll get raped by Zol.

    What most people don’t realize is that the rating is also applied to uploads whose bandwidth is about 1/10 of download. Torrents do uploads and get you had upload rating quicker than you can get a bad download rating, hence why you can download with no issues but can’t open a single page.

    Weekends I use that same connection to stream videos back to back. Granted there is some buffering time but you work around these things, Like starting to buffer your next vid when you’re halfway through current one.

    There is still a place for unlimited and granted there are some trade offs.

    1. From what I see the only connection you’ve used here is the ZOL Wimax.

      What gave you that impression? I’ve actually used ZOL WiMax, TelOne ADSL, uMAX WiMax, iWay WiMax, ZOL Fibre and have helped friends get and use YoAfrica WiMax.
      The only one in the article I haven’t used yet is Telco’s fibre, which i look forward to trying some day.

  6. Also says:

    Has anyone tried to destroy zol ‘unlimited’ internet cz im pretty sure if you took down about 500gb (the spot where even the USA isps i use at college and europe one would throttle your speeds or send an email detailing fair usage to prevent bandwidth hogs) then the unlimited becomes limited. At least umax is honest to say look here, this is where we draw the line.

    1. Research & Think says:

      I do about 50GB not including live streaming. 500GB @150kb/s I’d bow to that person because they’ll be the true Hoggage.

      This is coming from someone who’s been previously banned from 2 ISP’s.

  7. Sinclair says:

    I am a very happy uMax customer – and over the years have been with just about everyone but ADSL. It is not only about money – uMax deliver what they promise and have excellent customer service. If they say 3 Mbit/s that is what you get.

    Tell me who else send you an sms “we are sorry your are is currently down, we are working on it” followed by “you should now be online again”. And no, I don’t work for them

    1. jonas says:

      I agree with @sinclair. I too have been with UMAX and i am happy! even happier now that i am getting double the data! Happy days

  8. Tawanda says:

    ko why is uMax not updating their website to reflect these changes? even communicate with their clients about the changes.

    1. Sinclair says:

      I got that in an email from them before it was posted here??

  9. Rad says:

    How do i connect with Umax. Where are they located?

  10. Nda says:

    Any plans for a uMax service in Bulawayo?

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