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Africom Delays Launch Of Paid Mobile Internet Services

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Africom Logo

Africom LogoWhen Africom launched mobile internet services about a month ago, it was with a one month free bandwidth promotion for all customers. The promotion was due to expire on 10 October, when Africom said it would unveil the tariff schedule for the new services. 10 October came and passed and it’s emerging Africom is not ready yet.

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This ofcourse is good news to a lot of customers who’ve been trying out the service. The trial period is just automatically extending until Africom sorts itself out. We hear it’ll take another several more days before they’re ready to start selling the charged service.

Those of you who decided to tap into some free bandwidth when it launched will know that Africom is selling the CDMA Internet modems without SIM cards. So there’s no way for them to actually identify their customers and make them pay for the Internet being used. In fact, subscribers are using the default passwords to log onto the network.

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A friendly source at an ISP tells us the one month free bandwidth was most likely not by design. He says there are high chances Africom’s billing system and infrastructure is not ready to identify users and measure usage. Or maybe Africom would like to wait and see the mobile services (and pricing) Econet will launch on Wednesday next week, then maybe adjust its offering to steal the thunder soon after with its own launch.

Whatever the reason, I’m getting free Internet so Africom can take their time.

We’re still trying to get pricing info and will update once we get something.


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12 thoughts on “Africom Delays Launch Of Paid Mobile Internet Services

  1. “… Africom is selling the CDMA Internet modems without SIM cards. So there’s no way for them to actually identify their customers …”

    A little more “tech” would tell you that if, and this is a big IF, they’re actually taking your personal details when selling you the modem/kit, they’re identifying you by the MAC address of the actual modem.

    Each hardware identifier is unique, and all it takes is for them to know which hardware interface you’re using to connect to their infrastructure.

  2. Tell us about Africom’s free service – how does it stake up against other offerings on the market?

    Mobile broadband is still in name only – a lot of corporates are struggling to have reliable internet connectivity.
    I visited a friend who was so frustrated he could not connect even though he had Econet, Powertel, Telecel … the only time he could assuredly get something decent was after 5pm!

    Game changer next week by Econet – TOTENDA DZAMWA!

  3. I have been using Africom’s free service since it came out. It works very well. It has really stabilized over the last week. There were times 2 weeks ago when certain time periods were very slow. But not as slow as the useless Econet GPRS.
    I doubt very much that Africom’s delay of paid services has anything to do with billing infrastructure. There are billing systems out there already used my many telcos worldwide. It’s just a matter of picking one that suits your requirements. I think they are playing a wait a see game as competition is just on over the horizon.
    But I am inclined to bet my internet service with Africom. Why? Because their CDMA is data only unlike Econet’s and Telecel’s that would be DATA and VOICE traffic. Having experienced Econet’s GPRS I am not betting much on Econet.

  4. All this is just funny i am tired of zimbabwean companies not communicating with clients econet is a very good example now africom cant even inform us of whats going on..

  5. I would have thought that everyone compalaining about ECONET GPRS would have checked out Ecoweb (Econet’s subsidiary)’s 4G.

    Great speeds, great uptime, real broadband even during peak hours.

  6. I wonder which 4G service you are referring to. I have 2 x 4G USB modems and 1 x I600 ethernet modem which I stopped using after realising I was not getting value for money. WEhy would Ecoweb suspend a wonderful service?

  7. Unfortunately there is no way to hide your hardware’s i.d. from your provider.

    Tor is a TRAFFIC anonymiser, which means it will only obscure your traffic by routing it through proxies all over the world.

    But to actually be able to send that traffic you already need to be connected to the provider’s infrastructure.

    So basically, it can only hide what you DO on the internet, but it can’t hide that you’re ON the internet.

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