A notice sent out yesterday by government owned fibre wholeseller & mobile broadband provider, PowerTel, says the company will be disconnecting all unpaid mobile broadband accounts starting today. It’s mobile internet service, PowerTel says, is a prepaid service and customers need to pay in advance of enjoying the $50 flat monthly fee service.
That PowerTel has to remind its customers that the service is prepaid, points the fact that this may not be very clear and that some customers may be enjoying the service without paying a cent. Or that customers know it’s prepaid but billing challenges have meant some defaulters still enjoy the service until someone at PowerTel manually suspends them. More that actually. And PowerTel says a new billing system will take care of it.
PowerTel procured the new billing system this year and is currently implementing a migration to it, which, they said two months ago, will allow them to bill customers more effectively. Customers will be able to buy recharge cards. We think it’s going to be something along the lines of Africom‘s prepaid mobile broadband. We’re sure they’ll have other payment methods too eventually but nothing has been said on that so far.
In the notice (which you can view here) PowerTel said they are currently getting their existing CDMA customers to send in their details anew for registration into the new billing system. If you are a PowerTel customer and don’t know about this, you probably want to get in touch with them to avoid service interruptions. Like the kind TelOne ADSL subscribers suffered late last year.
For customers, the new billing platform means an end to the All-you-can eat $50 a month model. The flat monthly was great for heavy internet users, but not so good for the entire network as it’s prone to terabytes-a-month abuse by some subscribers. Without any indications of the new tariffs that’ll come into effect, it’s difficult to say what the net effect on the average subscriber will be in terms of the total price of broadband access a month.
PowerTel is one of the 15 POTRAZ licensed Internet Access Providers (IAPs) in Zimbabwe.