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Econet to Launch ‘Econet Broadband’

Econet Wireless ZimbabweWe just learnt from a contact that Econet will be launching new broadband services shortly. The new services will be branded ‘Econet Broadband’. The services will be a combination of the 4G mobile WiMax from Ecoweb (a subsidiary) and the 3G services introduced by Econet last year.

This comes against the backdrop of a year of substandard 3G service by Econet. It’s common knowledge (and common frustration) now that Econet’s 3G services is unreliable and extremely slow. In fact a common tip is to use it very early in the AM of the day and to not bother much with it the rest of the day.

Even Econet customer service agents insistently warn you about the service instability when you buy the service. I witnessed this first hand. And yes, new line activation for data is suspended but sometimes you can get it. Don’t ask me how, I find it confusing too.

In contrast, the Ecoweb 4G service has not been marred with such customer frustration. When we did a review of the service back in May soon after its launch, we praised it. We still do.

This re-launch of mobile Internet services was expected. In fact it’s way overdue. Activation of new subscribers was suspended last year just a month after launch and since then, Econet service agents have just been promising ‘activation will be available in a few weeks’.

It’s not clear yet how these new Econet Broadband services will be structured but we imagine information will start rolling in in the next few days. We’ll keep you updated on anything we lay our hands on.

We don’t have an update on the progress of the Chirundu to Beitbridge optic fibre backbone. This backbone has a lot of bearing on the quality of any broadband services to come out of a Zim internet provider. Without any information on that front, I’m personally not holding my breath here. The caution of being bitten once I guess. I’d love to be pleasantly surprised.


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