Econet Reduces Mobile Broadband Tariffs, More Reductions to Come

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Econet Price Cut

Econet Price CutThere’s some good news to share today. Econet published new tariffs for its mobile broadband services in the press. On the new tariff schedule, some mobile broadband packages have been reduced by as much 50%. Not all packages have been reduced but hey, any easing of those steep rates is welcome.

Specifically, the 5MB bundle which was US $2 is now $1, the 50MB bundle from $20 to $10, the 100MB bundle halved from $40 to $20 and the 200MB has been reduced from $50 to $40. The rest remain unchanged.

We spoke to a source at Econet and he tells us the bigger bundles will be slashed too in the coming weeks. We think this is a response to the negative response from subscribers who were complaining that the tariffs were just too high for any meaningful internet activity. Our source says the negative response is not quite the reason. According to him, Econet has received an overwhelming response from people interested in the mobile broadband services so much it’s failing to cope. mmm.

Anyway, we know most of the Techzim readers were mad at Econet. Most of you vowed to switch to Africom and PowerTel. Some even to the yet-to-be-launched Telecel broadband services. We can’t say we don’t understand how you feel. What we’d like to find out from you now is if you’re going to consider buying the Econet services following this reduction in tariffs. Please let us know in the comments below.


  1. Leon

    Here’s the long winded one, I have much to say on the matter, as no one else wants to listen, including Econet…

    There is absolutely no chance I would move back! Not unless they become realistic with their charges, especially for the larger packages. When using internet on PC or Laptop, 100MB is very quick to use up, especially with antivirus and windows updates, not to mention facebook, fb applications, picture emails, music downloads etc…

    I had been with Powertel since 2007 and as I was continualy experiencing difficulties with my Powertel modem (technical issues @ Powertel), so I moved to Econet in 2010, and thought the speeds were slower, at least the connection did not require frequent disconnection & reconnection to enable data flow. However I have now moved back due to Econets unrealistic tariffs, I also complained to them and they pretty much said that the prices would remain and the users just had to get used to the charges! That infuriated me to no end. Though I am used to the fact that in Zimbabwe there is not many companies who have proper “Customer Care” nor are there many companies who respect customers nor care what they have to say, but Econet were downright rude and didn’t care neither. It would appear that no one knows the old saying of “the customer is always right” or “customer first” or “the customer is king”, at least the other Companies are a little bit polite.

    Anyhow, when I first started up with them I asked what their prices would be after the upgrade and they had said that once their upgrade had been complete the tariffs would be in line with regional average, I thought that would be fine as long as they weren’t fooling people with the $25.00 uncapped so they would move onto the network and then once on and relying on Econet they would up the tariffs ridiculously, as they have done. Anyway their prices are still way above regional average.

    I have found Powertel to have improved on the service delivery immensely and as they are on a proper Fiber link out of the country, the link is now faster, more reliable and still uncapped on monthly rates of $25.00/mnth for 1x speeds and $50.00/mnth for 3G speeds, I doubt if any one else would ever match this in Zimbabwe.

    I think I will leave it here, though I could go on all night with regards to this, I think ‘enough said’ now. Thanks to TechZim firstly for keeping us up to speed on Technical news in Zim’s and also for giving us (me in particular in this instance) a space to air my grudges etc… Keep up the good work, Nice One! :o)

  2. Jaybee

    The reduction in price by econet is probably because of the following:
    (a) huge embarrassment after realization that the service was the world’s most expensive 3g. even the less techies were shocked that the much talked about internet was just “ultra expensive” and immediately ignored the service.
    (b) econet is now seriously worried that its defecting customers might find comfortable ground and settle “permanently”. Its return on investment (ROI) could be under treat if “huge” masses do not embrace its services, remember they spent multi-millions developing the infrastructure.
    (c) Of course the blogosphere has been polluted with noise about econet being evil. reputation is also at stake here.

  3. Takuna

    Can you please explain to me how econet can say they have reduce tarrifs to meaningful prices, when 20mbs for wireless is 2 dollars in world trade center and econet charges a dollar for 5mbs???

    Maybe the easy access around the country makes them charge 3 times that rate…

    Personally im waiting for packages for heavy internet users cos thats who we are…

  4. James Ritala

    They still need to reduce these tariffs. Even at $1 for 5mb that expires in 24 hours its still very expensive.

    We need further reduction.

  5. jota jota

    Guys, its really sad the way these guys have tormented me over the last 2 weeks.

    I have now purchased 3x 5MB bundles, all have expired without me using a single KB of it. 7 trips to the Econet offices and a good 15L of petrol down the line, my line just won’t connect! And the explanation is the same, its just network, it will connect eventually. I’m now 5 friends richer from guys i have met in the Econet offices with the same problem.

    Still at the new rates, the prices are a rip-off. It really is unfortunate in Mutare there is no real competition from Africom or Powertel. I would really enjoy stuffing my foot in Econet’s mouth with a real hiatus of i and my new-found buddies to a perhaps slower, but WORKING service.

    Econet just sucks!

  6. gugu

    haaaaa Econet is just playing with our minds…you should go to China and see how internet there is cheap and speeds are super, you can download a whole movie in 30 minutes tops so this is just child’s play!!!!

  7. JamesM

    OK! Thanks Kabweza for this update but please don’t confuse it with good news! Good news it is certainly not! Econet prices are extortionate and a reflection the company’s own GREED! This is exactly what you get from a monopolistic company that knows all too well that real competition that may force it to adjust it’s prices to true demand-supply levels is simply not there. Econet long ago bought government influence to prevent foreign competition entering Zimbabwe, and as we all now know it is us the helpless Zimbabwe consumers who are paying the price! LITERALLY! Look at Zain Malawi, they recently rolled out 3G broadband in that country and the prices? Look here, and you should be be angry when you compare them to econet’s.

    Internet access is simply too important to be monopolised by the likes of Econet. Google, Facebook, the list is endless for heaven’s sake, are billion-dollar companies built on the internet economy and we in Zim cannot afford to have this industry hijacked by monopolies of the likes of Econet! Zoozle (pun intended) a likely Zimbabwean billion-dollar search engine will never see the light of day when internet access is controlled by influence-buying monopolies. Finland recently made internet access a statutory right individuals in that country are entitled to, because they realise the importance of internet access to their economy and livelihoods.

    The first poster above, Leon, bemoaned bad customer service from Econet and sounds like he was insulted by it. He’s not the first to experience it and certainly won’t be the last as I, along with many others, share similar experiences. Suffice it to say that econet’s customer service is run by ZOMBIES! That, along with extortionate internet prices is precisely why the telecoms industry should be further liberalized in Zimbabwe, and kill off monopolies like econet. Monopolies do as they please to the detriment of us consumers.

    Either a petition or some sort of drive is warranted to bring this matter to Nelson Chamisa’s attention and allow more foreign competition into the telecoms sector. He should not be bought by Econet as a previous minister was, to maintain a monopoly over an industry that is all too important in this day and age.

  8. Blessing Dube

    Treating customers with contempt must have consequences. The new Econet pricing is still ridiculously high and I will continue to support Africom to the fullest extent of my wallet. Even if Telecel launches after the next World Cup, I will wait……

  9. Munya

    Econet is really ripping off people, I mean how can 5mb be for 24hrs and you are charged a dollar? Someone said 20mb is charged for a dollar at world trade center; why can’t econet take the hint?

    Anyways insider sources at Msasa tell me that Econet will still maintain these bully prices at least up to a time when real mobile internet competition hits the market sometime next year. So for now we have to endure. All you who have smartphones with push capabilities u need to disable them; at least ur bundle will last longer.

  10. Tinashe Chidyausiku

    So how much is it to use internet without buying the data bundle… i realy wonder there… Im realy not interested in the databundles. I prefer the airtime deductions, but the charges have to be reduced too, coz as it stands, the $0.50+ they are charging is insane.

  11. Tapiwa

    Africom is heaven sent – only for the 1st gig tho!! But econets pricing is vile, malicious and down right dubious!! I was thinking about just using econet to keep my inbox in syc with my phone but buying a new data bundle everyday though I only use about 1mb a day on my phone is insane. That means I’l need to spend $365 a year for sumthing I only use a fifth of!! Econet needs a wake up call.

  12. BeeBrian

    b4 you guys hate on Econet remember the pricing is controlled by POTRAZ or something like that if i remember correctly. So let us not hate Econet but lobby to the pricing regulators to free up charging. Remeber Powertel is ZESA, parastal. Lets look at the root cause. I South Africa the telecoms regulators they ask Mobile companies to reduce but in Zimbabwe they want these guys to continue charging high prices so the tax they get is also huge.
    Why is it POTRAZ is not taking Econet for overcharging, coz thats what they want and are just letting the mobile companies take the blame.

  13. sir allen

    ho wadzikisa mutengo nokuti hapana ari kutenge lol.

  14. Tendai

    Given the ridiculous prices econet has been charging for their mobile broadband, one gets the bigger picture…econet doesnt give a hoot abt customer complaints. It appears they are only bent on ripping us off. Thank god for powertel and africom, at least we have an option. I mean $1 for 5mb?, really?

  15. Titus

    ZIAPA are quite happy with the ridiculous licensing fee of $4.6 million for an Internet Access Provider’s license. POTRAZ in return would like to see ZIAPA members redeem the license fee as quickly as possible, so it’s an authorised cartel. So, forget about sympathy from POTRAZ!

  16. Dum Geek

    Malawi Internet Packages (dongle)
    Zain e-Go Packages
    With Zain e-Go , you only pay for content that you browse and not the time you spend connected!
    • Zain Starter: This will provide you with 500MB of data to use over a 30 days period at a giveaway price of MK1600 only. To subscribe send an SMS *301* 3# (USD10.49)
    • Zain Lite: This will provide you with 1GB of data to use over a 30 days period at MK2560 only. To subscribe send an SMS *301*4# (USD16.79)
    • Zain Plus: This will provide you with 5GB of data to use over a 30 days period at a giveaway price of MK 10,000 only. To subscribe send an SMS *301*5# (USD65.57)
    • Zain Max: This will provide you with 10GB of data to use over a 30 days period at K12,000 only. To subscribe send an SMS *301*6# (USD 78.69)
    • Additional usage charge is MK 0.01 per KB. (USD0.0001)

  17. Lloyd

    I cursed myself. Just a few days after gushing about how fantastic PowerTel is it has ground to a halt. Even opening Google can take 15 minutes. I don’t know if it’s just my line or my area. But it’s bad, real bad. I’m quickly running out of options. I even end up using my Econet line in my phone ( Sacrilege ) sometimes instead. My advice to anyone getting PowerTel, try before you buy.

  18. simba

    econet s broadband and 3G is not here it is a hoax. its something like an ordinary narrowband.i am switching isp and GSM serviceprovider completly dont trust this golddiggers

  19. Omo

    i hv lost more than 8mb all coz it expired b4 i cld connect. I used to love econet and support them with all my heart. wait until i get an option. how abt unlimited broadband with different packages . . . cost for access speed/download speed whaeva, not this juicing crap . . . I HATE

  20. Abe

    Hahahahahaha Go to Yo! Africa, buy 80MB for $5.00, hooray!!!!!!!!!!! very fast download. Subscribe to Africom, $18.00 per month. To h#$l with Econet slow broadband until they reduce tarrifs to fairness and improve on speed. I just keep their voice line because I am on contract.

  21. Wonder

    Simple mathematics will mean these guys were or are still making more than 75% profit! The tariffs are still too much, they will have to find a more favorable for heavy users, a discount will do since they will make more money from them! By the way shy should it expire? I purchased it and should be mine, I should use it any time I want!

  22. tinashe

    are we going to get a credit for the bundles we had already bought or we are already robbed?

  23. Lloyd

    We have been robbed. I have tried in vain to get mine extended. But they just say they don’t have authority and are forwarding it to the person who does.

  24. Des

    Econet has literally stolen from thier customers by allowing them to pay the $25 presumbably for the month, then mid-stream they change the contract and “credit” us with a WHOLE 100Mb for our $25 (this is the point they expect us to say “Thank you Econet.” Yeah right! What are tou smoking?) Back to changing contract mid-stream,….. had I known they would suddenly switch me to a different agreement where I get 100Megs for $25 I would not have paid them! Pity I on’t have the access to legal recourse, else I would have taken it to the courts of law. But like many others, I have just been robbed, and have nowher to go about it.

    Econet is indeed extortioning it’s customers because there is little to no competition. Just as the once changed $30 or so for a sim card, which they now charge $1 if not less. What has changed? If nothing, it is sickening to imagine what profit they were making when they were charging $30 for a line, that subsequently was sold on the black market for over $100! That is real Obama dollars by the way!
    I strongly suspect that someone in charge of pricing at Econet is on a very strong grade of mbanje to have the audacity to actually make public such prices for their broadband. As a result of this madness, I have not encouraged a single soul to consider Econet’s broadband. Rather, I have actively discouraged it and enlisted others to join me in a boycott of Mr Econet until he sobers up!

    Econet claims they cant keep up with demand for activation, well hear this Econet, I have gotten activation on my phone because it cost me nothing, so I might as well get it activated now in case you do come to your senses and reprice and rebrand yourselves; otherwise I have no real intention of using it. So dont measure your success based on “demand” measure it by the real money you get as a result of peolple buying your internet packages. Which you will only be able to tell over the next 60 days or so. This is the time I give Econet to see if they will respond by becoming realistic in their tariffs. That is why I have activated my line now instead of then. (shows I have some faith that they will see the light in order to remain viable). If they dont, they can take the broadband and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

    Thank you techzim for allowing me a forum where I can espress my humble, but accurate, opinion. Keep it up.
    P.S. If there are typos, they are an indication of how irate I am with these jokers.

  25. Floyd

    Yeah Powertel has definitely slowed down lately (but not as bad as you described – my speed seems to have been cut in half, which isn’t so bad). I phoned them and they said it’s because more people must be using it in my area. Yeah right. So literally overnight (at most, in the space of 2 days), so many people who just happen to live where I do, signed up for Powertel that I’ve seen my browsing and download speeds reduced by half. Whatever.

    I wonder if they are shaping our connections?

  26. Cliff Tyson

    I heard that if you don’t use all the MB you buy before the expiry date, you loose them all. Is that true or can you just pay the $1.00 for another 5MB and you get the 5MB’s plus you rejuvenate all the unused MB’s you had before the expiry date?

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