2015 is almost over, but one thing hasn’t changed. The internet is still a luxury for a lot of people in Zimbabwe. One of the main reasons is the high cost associated with going online.
To be fair, the internet providers have made a number of significant changes to their product suites, with the options to access the internet for limited incomes increasing on year by year basis.
However, we are still not at a point where data service costs become an afterthought. Local internet prices are still steep, particularly for the majority of Zimbabweans who use mobile devices to go online. The absence of regulatory intervention hasn’t helped either. All the changes we’ve noticed so far are a reuslt of macro-economic forces in a tough economy.
In 2015 we saw a shakeup in fibre internet services, unbelievable mobile broadband promos that came and went, changes in VSAT courtesy of regulatory intervention, some brushups on certain WIMAX services, increased competition in the WiFi hotpsot arena and some adjustments to ADSL.
Outside ZOL’s free wifi hotspots (that give you a 30 minute window everyday) you need at least 50 cents to access the internet in Zimbabwe, and thanks to some of the promotions being run by mobile network operators like Econet, and some wifi providers like Africom, that will get you 50 MB of data. For mobile broadband users without access to hotspots and looking beyond these promos, 50 cents is only good for at most 8 MB of data.
$1 now means more internet access largely because of the WiFi hotspot rollout from at least 4 internet providers, with TelOne’s 350 MB being the most you’ll get out of this nominal amount.
Home internet options now include an increasingly visible fibre presence, though it’s still largely in Harare. The cheapest fibre package is $36. ADSL is now accessible for at least $15 and a $10 WiMAX package from Africom will get you 1.2GB of data.
Without any sign of regulatory induced change, Zimbabweans can only hope that an increasingly competitive environmment will help in the downward review of these prices.
Mobile Network Operator Broadband Prices
|Data Price (US$) |
*All prices are for bundle rates
|Econet Wireless Broadband||NetOne Broadband||Telecel Broadband|
Africom MiChoice Regular Bundles
|PRICE ($US)||SIZE (All bundles valid for 30 days)|
Africom MiChoice and Flexi-Bundle Packages
|Package/ Bundle||Price||Validity (Days)|
|MiChoice - (Offers Unlimited Social Media Access, Browsing)|
|Flexi - Bundles (Pay As You Go Data Package)|
|Package(all packages are unlimited)||Cost($US)||Speed|
|Package||Cost ($US)||Speed||Data Allowance|
|Mobile Internet||42||3.1Mbps download speed||unlimited|
|WiMax||from 99||from 1Mbps||from 40GB p/m|
|Fibre||from 99||from 1Mbps||from 40GB p/m|
|PACKAGE||PRICE ($US)||DATA (GB)||VALIDITY (DAYS)||VALUE ADDED SERVICES|
|Express||35||15||7||Unlimited downloads; Unlimited Surfing (Fair Usage Policy Applies)|
|Monthly Express||60||30||30||Unlimited Uploads & Downloads,Surfing ; Unlimited * Subscription is only for modem package|
|Monthly Turbo||89||50||30||Unlimited Uploads & Downloads, surfing; *Subscription only for WiFi Router Package|
|Powertel Unlimited||175||Unlimited (Ts & Cs Apply)||30||Monthly unlimited Deal
Unlimited Downloads & uploads for the whole month;
|PACKAGE||PRICE ($US)||SPEED & CAP|
|Home Basic||15||1Mbps (2GB allowance)|
|Home Plus||25||1Mbps (10GB allowance)|
|Home Premier||42||1Mbps (25GB Allowance)|
|Infinity Pro||89||1Mbps (Unlimited)|
|Infinity Master||125||2Mbps (Unlimited )|
|Infinity Supreme||150||4Mbps (Unlimited)|
|Package||Price ($USD)||Download Speed|
|Starter||36||5Mbps (usage capped at 20GB)|
|Boost||70||10Mbps (usage capped at 50GB)|
|Package||Price($US)||Speeds of up to (Mbps)||Data Cap (GB)|
|15GB allowance||40 GB allowance||150 GB allowance|
|2 Mbps download speed||3 Mbps speed||up 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)|
|Medium||110||up to 1Mbps|
|Hot||160||up to 1.5Mbps|
|Plus||49||up to 1Mbps|
|Enhanced||99||up to 2Mbps|
|Ultra||129||up to 3Mbps|
|Basic Essentials||39||up to 5Mbps (capped at 15GB p/m)|
|Family Essentials||89||up to 10Mbps (capped at 30GB p/m)|
|Family Entertainment||149||up to 20Mbps (unlimited)|
|Modern Family||199||up to 30Mbps (unlimited)|
|Power Pack||259||up to 50Mbps (unlimited)|
|Turbo||339||up to 100Mbps (unlimited)|