Last week, we revealed that Ecoweb was going to launch mobile WiMax this week. They just did. But that’s not the news. The news is this: It’s a staggering US$ 290 to get connected. The USB WiMax dongle, US$ 175, and the monthly bandwidth subscription, US$ 115.
We say that because when we discovered that Ecoweb was planning to charge $170 for the USB WiMax dongle and some $100 monthly subscription last week, we complained that this was way too expensive. And to our surprise, at launch the service is US$ 20 more expensive.
Anyway, that’s 4G for you there. It’s now officially available. The first provider to bring the latest and ‘fastest’ standard in mobile data communications is Ecoweb.
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You can get yourself some mobile WiMax at the Harare Eastgate and Bulawayo Ecoweb offices. We’re not too sure at the moment if the Gweru and Mutare offices are selling it yet. Econet service centre should start selling them as well. Find out if you can and let us know in the comments below.
We are getting information that Ecoweb had discussions with the Zim telecoms regulator (POTRAZ) today to revise the bandwidth price downwards. We hear the proposal is US$ 50 for 500MB. Our advice right now is: if you have the extra money to spend (read ‘money to burn’), by all means please jump in and get a feel of this. For the rest of us mere mortals, a little patience will work in your favour.
In a discussion with an Ecoweb employee today, he hinted that the mobile WiMax offering wasn’t really for the common people. He says it’s targeted at laptop owners who need reliable broadband Internet on the go, and are therefore prepared to pay for it. Nothing wrong with the concept really, except broadband shouldn’t be made into a luxury commodity.
We also gather that the strategy at Ecoweb is to use the price skimming approach where you charge the customers the most they would be willing pay for the service and the price is incrementally dropped until it reaches a level viable for the long term.
So, again, chill.