ZOL Says “Stop Waiting For Promised 3G Connections – Connect Today To Wireless Broadband.”

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar
ZOLspot Internet to go

ZOLspot Internet to goIn obvious reference to Econet’s delayed full rollout of data services to mobile, subscribers Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) is telling customers they don’t have to wait – we have great wireless broadband spread across the country and it is available right now! The message was sent out in a promotional email to customers titled “Introducing ZOLspot Wireless high-speed Broadband from just US $30. Faster than 3G and available today all over Zimbabwe!”

To use the ZOL wireless broadband, customers buy a prepaid scratch card available at any ZOLSpot and get immediate access to the Internet. The scratch cards are valid for 6 months from the first time you use them.

Cost wise, the ZOL Wi-Fi is quite competitive by regional standards; $10 for a 50MB bundle, $15 for 100MB, $35 for 250MB and $110 for a 1GB bundle (I guess the time has come for the ordinary man to know what MB and GB really mean).

There’s no mention about the effective browsing speed to expect, so no meaningful way really to validate ZOL’s “Faster than 3G” claim. If you have connected to one recently, please let us know your experience in the comments section below.

ZOL started setting up Wi-Fi hotspots in Harare in April 2007 and hasn’t slowed down since. ZOLspots are now spread all over the capital. Bulawayo has a number of them as well, Mutare too. Strangely, no other ISP seems interested in the Wi-fi hotspots business, or if there is, they sure are doing a good job keeping a very low profile.

ZOL is running a 70% discount promotion ending on 28 February; you get the $110 1GB bundle for a giveaway of $30! Good timing from ZOL here seeing Econet vowed to deliver on its promise in less than 2 weeks from now, when they commission their new fibre-optic. An effort by ZOL to steal some thunder ahead of this I guess.


  1. Hope

    I have used Zol spot Wi-Fi before but the disadvantages it has is the places it is situated . You have to go into a cafe in town e.g Symphony and a few places in Harare. Zol does not have option for me to surf the internet in the comfort of my home but instead i have to buy coffee or lunch for me to use the service

  2. Wonder

    We cant really call that cheap. The fact that I am leaving the comfort of my home to go to a Cafe for me to be able to use the ZOL Sport means that I can go to some YoAfica/WEbDev Internet facilities where nyou can buy a 100MB card for $6 which doesnt expire plus you can enjoy a free 50MB browse for a trial everday which is actually more than what I need to do per day!

  3. Munya

    For me this is mere advertising puff from ZOL who are clearly taking advantage of the fact that the mobile operators have up till now failed to rise to the challenge, for anyone to talk about hotspots and 3G in the same breath is simply ridiculous. Comparing the two is not proper given the differences in platforms and the effects on both speed and coverage.

  4. Gerald Nqobile

    I think this article is merely comparing two different tehnologies. 3G and Wi-fi or Wi-max are different services and cannot be compared for commercial reasons. ZOL cannot compete with Econet on this platform because it only offers data bundles which can only access internet at certaim points(HOT SPOTS) wherea GPRS & 3G currently offered by Econet uses the existing GSM network meaning that you can access it from your cell phone…so mobile internet is a subset of wireless internet. I am sure Econet will soon roll out Wimax and Wi-fi, then this article has to be produced again so that we talk real business.

  5. Nigel

    This is funny…i just read from the Bizsetup Blog “Is ZOL is afraid of Econet…?” I think they should be. Wifi can actually be quite inconvenient sometimes…(buying coffee at some expensive hotel just so i can send emails!)

  6. Kabweza

    don’t think ZOL should be afraid of Econet. technologies are available to make Wi-Fi ubiquitously available especially in densely populated areas (flats, high densities, shopping centers, schools, the city center etc…) They could go the WiMax route too to. if their target market is consumers (which doesn’t really NEED to be), they can definitely do more to get ahead of Econet. And subscribers can have a choice of which to use; ZOL’s Wi-Fi or Econet 3G depending on the $/MB.

    There’s no way Econet will sustain the service at their current $25 flat monthly rate!

  7. moses

    why are people saying econet wil not sustain the $25us? 6months later and they havent changed it yet!

  8. Kabweza

    Because 8 months later they still haven’t opened up data services to all subscribers. And if you use the ‘3G’ you’ve probably noticed the service is not 3G.

  9. cosmas d

    piease dont ly

  10. Gora

    One thing to remember about WiFi hotspots – it is illegal to access a Wifi signal across a public area. it contravenes sections of the Telecommunications act. Remember that the 2.5Ghz frequency is regulated. Perhaps the editors of this site could check up on that issue for us and provide clarification as i could be wrong.