Econet Says Mobile Broadband Selling Like Hot Cakes

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Econet Internet Selling Like Hot Cakes

Econet Internet Selling Like Hot CakesWe’ve just received a press release from Econet with some news we can’t say we expected. Apparently, the recently launched Econet Broadband service has been a “runaway successes surpassing anything the company has experienced before.” Econet says it has connected more than 100,000 subscribers within just a week.

As you probably know, there has been outcry (on the Internet at least) about Econet Broadband tariffs being too exorbitant. People are just basically saying the prices are too high and they won’t subscribe.

Take yesterday for example when we posted an article about the reduction of prices Econet has effected. All the comments to the article maintain Econet’s internet is still too expensive to consider. One commenter even compared it to Malawi’s Zain and pointed us to this Zain Internet tariffs page.

There is a group on the other side. This group of people (mainly from Internet service providers) says that even though Econet is charging an arm and leg for internet access, it’s justified in doing so, so it can recoup money poured into telecoms infrastructure development. The argument offered is that Econet has invested heavily in infrastructure and it’s only fair for it to reap some meaningful return on the investment. The other argument is of course that Zim gets most of its international traffic through expensive satellites and that Econet is simply passing on the high cost to subscribers.

Justified or not, Econet says mobile broadband is selling like hot cakes! This sort of confirms a conversation we had with an Econet executive yesterday. According to him Econet is actually failing to cop. “our shops are overcrowded” he exclaimed!

So, I guess for all the noise people have been making, Zimboz are actually signing up by the bus loads. It’d be interesting to get the figures of the actual revenue received from broadband activations.

Here’s the full text of the release:

Econet Wireless says Econet Broadband and Ecolife, two services launched by the company over the past month, have been runaway successes surpassing anything the company has experienced before.

Within just one week, Econet Broadband has expanded to more than 100 000 connected customers and the company is bracing itself for continued rapid growth well into coming year. Ecolife, the life insurance product jointly run by Econet and First Mutual Life, is also seeing subscriber numbers double every week. The number of Zimbabweans on Ecolife has now gone past 300 000 within a month of launch.

Econet Wireless CEO Mr Douglas Mboweni said management was astounded but delighted by the better-than-expected demand for the two services.

It had taken over 15 months of development to get Ecolife to market, he said. “This is not something you buy off the shelf. It runs on very sophisticated software, and it had to be developed for our specific needs,” Mr Mboweni said.

Adding that having a shareholding in Afre, the parent company of FML, had made it easier to develop the service. More insurance products would follow soon, including a service for the Zimbabwean Diaspora, he disclosed.

On broadband, Mr Mboweni reported both demand and usage were strong. Much of the demand was being driven by users of Econet Broadband’s “On the Go” service, which gives users internet access on their mobile phones.


  1. brian

    lol! They r selling the majority to ignorant poeple vane bapu rekuti 3G mobile internet is now in Zim but the tru internet users know its insane to buy those rediculasly priced data bundles. Econet should be ashamed!!

  2. JamesM

    The only thing Econet sells like hot cakes is FREE LIFE INSURANCE! Granted that a company that has invested in such infrastructure will want to recoup its investment. Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C in South, Zain in Malawi, Safaricom in Kenya have also invested a lot in the same infrastructure with none of the extortionate prices. Econet itself has invested in countries like Kenya and Lesotho and I am quite certain their prices there are not as extortionate. Competition in those countries sees Econet competing at the very bottom unlike in Zim where their profits are ‘fabulous’, largely due to keeping competition out in cahoots with some national authorities.

    “Econet Says Mobile Broadband Selling Like Hot Cakes” is PR for the gullible.

  3. chris

    Hype. sales technique!!

  4. Sara

    Competition is too weak to do anything much about this because they do not have the widest coverage.Even if Econet was not going to sell the service to Harare residence, the more than 100 000 subscribers would come from the areas that the other competitors naturally are not serving. More than 100 000 subscribers is less that 3% of the claimed 4.5million subscribers.

    One other thing has anyone received the so called free Minutes and Free SMS after using Ecolife?

  5. Will

    I can’t say this surprises me to be honest. Regardless of the price Econet still seems like the ‘least worst’ option for broadband in Zim. I don’t buy the argument that Econet needs to charge quite this much to recoup the investment cost however. Well managed infrastructure development on this scale should not expect to see immediate or even short term profit. The key is to offer reasonable prices and excellent customer service (!) – this would give Econet long term customer loyalty that will make them more money in the long run. But, hey, that would require some forward planning right?

  6. Radical

    The long suffering Zimbabwe public is caught between a rock and a hard place. Anyone living outside Harare has very few, if any, options, and Econet is taking unfair advantage of this. The only solution is to bring out real competition, I can assure you if we had the likes of MTN or Vodacom the superprofits Econet makes will be a thing of the past. Remember, this is the same company that once (briefly until there was an outcry)charged us based on a minimum of 3 minutes talktime!!

  7. Brian Ellis

    I wish that their service and customer care was as hot as the way they are making sales. I topped up my bandwidth, bought their new 3G modem because I could not connect with my original one – and guess what – no signal and still can’t connect. I went to their Chispite outlet to try and find out why, and met queues out the doors – so sent an email and no surprise, you guessed it – no response. Roll on 2011 and the launch of Telecel proper.

  8. munhu

    you have a problem with Econet giving Life insurance? are they the first telecoms offering that? Ita mushe ! i hate people who do not have constructive ideas

  9. Sara

    I have seen the Ecolife is one of the greatest innovations that the company has come up that is relevant to the Zimbabwean market. Has anyone hooked up with it like i did and never get the freebies and all their communication material has no reference point to call in case you have an enquiry. I have tried the 111 platform and i haven’t been able to get a response for over 2 weeks. Cant Econet together with Afre organize a separate call centre to deal with the Number of inquiries , considering that the service now has more than 300 000 subscribers.

  10. Simbarashe Pesanai

    It will be interesting to note the geographical spread of the new connections Econet are claiming.I think the majority will be those out of Harare and areas not currently being serviced by other ISPs. My guess is that in Harare Econet has actually lost more subcribers as compared to new connections it has made. Otherwise this is a marketing gimmick meant to hoodwink the consumers.Down with monopolistic proclevities

  11. Richard

    That press release has more to do with pleasing shareholders and investors than the consumer. I know of 16 people including myself that have moved from econet to Afri-com and 7 who have stayed with econet but who can’t get their lines to work.

  12. simba

    econetbroadband ?what a false lie its nothing like it. is not even 3g yet even with the price slash it is too expensive.going to a cafe is still convenient..i think i have to switch to another service provider

  13. Wonder

    thats a naked lie to say the least!

  14. kodza

    true,the majority of takers are first time users who are ignorant of the word “meg”.Guess they bought into the 30day window period and probably subscribed for the lower priced bundles.Its only until their bundles are exhausted within minutes that they realise the highway robbery that is being committed by those at Econet Park

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