Why we need YoAfrica, ZOL and Aptics to do mobile broadband

Posted by Read 13 Comments

There’s one thing we love about two of Zimbabwe’s largest ISPs, YoAfrica and ZOL. It is that they understand the difference between local and international traffic. That local traffic does not cost them much to deliver and can therefore be given away free to customers. Aptics, a relatively new Internet Access Provider understands this too.

The mobile broadband providers we have so far (Econet, Africom and Telecel) all don’t care about the source of the customer’s traffic. International and local mean the same thing to them. PowerTel is different of course because it charges a flat monthly fee for unlimited usage. But there have been issue with their service for a while now.

There’s one more thing Yo, ZOL and Aptics do for their customers that’s praiseworthy; they only charge you for internet usage between 7AM and 7PM, the rest of the day (night rather) is free!

But Yo and ZOL are not licensed IAPs, they can’t just decide to start offering mobile broadband. They need a licensed partner. And as for Aptics, they are licensed but probably need some heavy investment to go into mobile broadband on a large enough scale.


We thought something was in the works early this year when Yo and ZOL announced a strategic partnership. Maybe not.


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  1. Munare123 says:

    I understand they (Aptics) have been installing mobile 4G broadband base stations across the country since mid last year and are scheduled for a commercial launch before December this year.

    Its strange why they have been very silent about it and you only see articles about them on the net from outside companies like the links below:

    1. http://www.airspan.com/press-releases/3726/airspan-networks-selected-by-aptics-trading-for-4g-network-in-zimbabwe

    2. http://www.greenpacket.com/news_room/nr_02-2411.html


  2. Linxwiz says:

    You forgot to mention that smtp (mail) traffic is not charged at all for corporates

  3. KuraiMGT says:

    The requirement for 4G is 100mbps according to the recent ITU report 2010

  4. Technovoice says:

    Aptics seems to have adopted a classic approach to business, where you don’t shout out about a product or technology thereof, which has not yet been fully tested let alone perfected. Over ambicious telecomms players like Africom and Broadlands almost ran themselves down into oblivion last year when they heralded ill functioning products and non existing technologies, respectively. Aptics infrastructure is said to be sprouting everywhere around the country, yet they seem to be trying to keep these developments under the radar! …….I suppose this makes sense given a market dominated by large mouths. Hope their silence will yield perfected systems at launch as supposed!

  5. David Behr (ZOL CEO) says:

    @twitter-190948683:disqus where is this report?  I’m pretty sure wimax 802.16e is considered 4G.

    I hate to burst the bubble, but this “free local bandwidth” and “free after hours bandwidth” is not going to last forever and is not sustainable.  It was more a legacy of the Zim ISP/IAP structure.  The newer IAPs are just not accepting this (and I don’t blame them) as more and more users load the networks with local usage.  Furthermore the market is relatively unsophisticated – we see a lot of customers saying we are more expensive on a per MB basis, without evening thinking of this free local/after hours.

    1. D Esq says:

      What about regional traffic, say to botswana and south africa, could this not be billed at a lower rate? I should not be the same as international bandwidth surely?

  6. buffdaddy says:

    Why the hate of Africom. I watched the Springboks v Fiji and Liverpool v Tottenham (maybe I shouldn’t have) online via Africom dongle.

  7. Pindilemhandu says:

    how do they make a profit if they don’t charge for local traffic? unless they are an NGO

  8. Gnapata says:

    Tel-one ADS L is the bomb. I had it installed yesterday at my place and it was on fire, I got the 512/256 and it felt like I was using a 1mbit connection. Youtube was a breeze, downloads were seamless. We watched sponge bob online without irritating buffering circles on the screen and all for $56 a month for the 15gig package. I cant wait to get home and surf all night long and there is no peak, off peak its just great internet.

    1. Timehits says:

      How much did this installation cost?

  9. Technovoice says:

    @ Gnapata. Im surprised that u wud actually call the Tel-one ADSL “the bomb”! Come on bro, get real…. 512/256 package will never be “a breeze” and downloads are certainly a pain! Im certain u are not referring to the same Tel-one ADSL links on offer right now coz they wud never be as good as u say! Are u sure u are not on a 4G Broadband connection? …..coz everything u described is technically out of synch with ADSL! 

    1. ngth says:

      I do not understand why a 512k package would be “out of synch with ADSL”  telone do sell a 512k package and ADSL is capable of speeds much greater than that.  I would be interested in a non biased review of telone ADSL as I have heard good and bad things about it, some claim it is the best thing ever, others that it is terrible, very little middle ground…

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