In 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.