As Telecel announced the opening of its mobile broadband test to all subscribers yesterday, Econet posted colorful adverts in the newspapers declaring “Up to 50% off on broadband tariffs. Now you can enjoy more broadband for less.”
Naturally, we were delighted. Happy because Econet’s broadband has by far the widest coverage in Zimbabwe and is arguable the fastest broadband too (that’s a story for another day). The delight didn’t last; at the bottom the advert explains (less shouty this time) that it’s just a promotion and valid only for a month. And like that’s not enough cold water poured already, the slashed prices aren’t that promotional. Here:
- 1MB for US $ 0.15
- 5MB for US $0.55
- 10MB for US $1.00
- 55MB for US $5.50
- 125MB for US $12.50
- 250MB for US $25.00
- 600MB for US $54.00
- 1200MB for US $90.00
In summary, the promotional price per megabyte for the smallest bundle (1MB) is still the most expensive on the mobile broadband market. So is the 5M bundle. And at US 10 cents per megabyte, bundles from 10MB to the 250MB are priced at Telecel’s test tariff announced by Telecel yesterday.
The 600MB and 1200MB bundles are indeed cheaper than the Telecel offering, but the bundle prices are US $54.00 and US $90 respectively. How many average Zimbabweans afford buying these large bundles?
More comparison: Africom’s 1 Gigabyte bundle (a thousand megabytes) is priced at US $18.00, that’s US 2 cents per megabyte. After you exhaust the gigabyte, the price goes up to US 11 cents per megabyte. PowerTel’s is US $50 a month for unlimited browsing.
So, Econet, thanks but no thanks. You can do a lot better than that. You’re making enough to be a bit more generous.