It’s official, the Telecel free mobile broadband test is over. Today, Telecel advised mobile broadband users through SMS that the test period has been finalized and starting Sunday 1 May (2011), all internet usage will be charged at US 10 cents per megabyte.
Here’s the text of the SMS:
Please note, as we finalise our trials for 3G, all data services are now being charged at USD0.10 per MB w.e.f. 01 May 2011. Call 150 for more info.
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It’s not clear if there’ll be any bundle business here or if it’ll just be your airtime charged against your internet usage. We hope it’s the former, so that maybe if you buy a bigger bundle you get it cheaper. It’s also not clear yet if the US 10 cents is inclusive of VAT. We’ve written to Telecel for more information and will update when we get a response.
Price wise, in comparison to Econet, this looks somewhat more affordable, and we’re not really surprised. It’s been the trend lately; most mobile services are priced lower on the Telecel platform than they are on Econet. For the smallest bundle Econet charges US $0.17 per megabyte and for the largest (1200 MB) about US $0.081.
But we can’t say we’re thrilled either; for those users using the internet on a device other than a mobile phone (or a tablet), there are already cheaper options on the market. Africom sells the first gigabyte in a month for US $0.018, roughly 80% cheaper! Beyond the first gigabyte ofcourse, the price per megabyte goes up to US 11 cents VAT inclusive.
For internet users downloading a lot of stuff, the PowerTel service also works out way cheaper as you only pay US $50 a month for unlimited usage.
Still, this is likely to have some kind of positive (for subscribers) play on Econet’s pricing and that’s very welcome.