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Comparison of mobile broadband tariffs in Zimbabwe

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Here’s a comparison of the tariffs of the mobile broadband services offered by Mobile Operators In Zimbabwe. We have included both the traditional GSM mobile operators, Telecel, Econet and NetOne, as well as new emerging mobile operators Africom and PowerTel. First we post the comparison, some notes to make sense of the data, and then some conclusions we’re drawing from  it.

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Cheapest bundle price per MBMost expensive bundle price per MBAverage price per MBOut of bundle price per MB
Econet Wireless2 cents10 cents5 cents15 cents
NetOne3 cents4 cents3 cents7 cents
Telecel Zimbabwe2 cents11 cents5 cents11 cents
Africom2 cents3 cents2 cents11 cents
PowerTel

$50 a month, all you can eat

Some things to note

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  • The cents are rounded off. The raw figures are in the tables below showing the tariffs for each operator
  • The average price per megabyte is just all the bundle prices per MB divided by the number of bundles
  • The Telecel rates are those of their ongoing Broadband Plus promotion. Promos are known to not expire or at least to become the default price so we saw it prudent to use those.
  • This is purely a price comparison and doesn’t take into account the quality of connection in term of speed and stability.

Here are the data tariff tables for all the operators:

NetOne

Bundle sizePricePrice per megabyte
70 MB$3$0.043
125 MB$5$0.040
285 MB$10$0.035
670 MB$20$0.030
1 GB$30$0.030
2 GB$50$0.025

 

econet-logo-th-2012

Bundle sizePricePrice per MB
10 MB$1$0.100
80 MB$5$0.063
200 MB$10$0.050
 500 MB$20$0.040
 1 GB$35$0.035
 2 GB$50$0.020

 

telecel-logo-red-th

Bundle sizepricePrice per MB
6 MB$1$0.108
10 MB$1$0.100
 40 MB$3$0.075
 320 MB$10$0.031
800 MB$20$0.025
 2 GB$45$0.023
 4 GB$75$0.019

 

africom_logo-2011-th

Bundle sizePricePrice per megabyte
1 GB$25$0.025
5 GB$125$0.025
10 GB$250$0.025
20 GB$450$0.023
51 GB$1,125$0.022

Conclusions

  • Of the 3 GSM mobile network operators (Telecel, Econet and NetOne), NetOne offers the lowest priced mobile internet bundles per MB on average.
  • Of the 3, Telecel has the highest priced mobile internet bundles with an average price of US $0.054 per MB. Econet is slightly cheaper than Telecel at $0.051 per MB.
  • On the out-of-bundle rate (which is the default rate when the subscriber doesn’t buy bundles), Econet has the most expensive mobile internet at $0.15 per MB. 
  • NetOne also beats the other two GSM mobile operators on the out-of-bundle rate at just $0.07 cents per MB
  • All in all though, Africom has the lowest priced bundled mobile internet on average at 2 cents per MB. 

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17 thoughts on “Comparison of mobile broadband tariffs in Zimbabwe

    1. From what I’ve heard Africom speed is reliant on your location…I’ve only used it in the Brooke and always get +1mbps however I’ve heard from peope that live in Mabelreign etc of what a headache Africom is.

      1. Speed is dependent on location for all providers. Powertel has been the best for me in Southerton and Greendale (some parts).

        Telecel and Econet give me headaches depending on location as well as time of day (24/7).

        Africom, yah depends on location but is much more stable in terms of general delivery.

  1. The extent to which we are being gauged never really clicked until I saw that 51GB bundle. I now get why my friend in australia almost choked to death when i told him i had paid $50 for 2.5GB (when he recovered he told me he could get a near unlimited hi speed connection for that much). We still have a way to go

  2. So sad to see it’ll cost the average person on a 3G network about $30 just to download a movie download they purchased for $5 from an online service. Or how downloading windows updates or antivirus updates may set one back $10-$20.

    This riduculous pricing from all the operators (except powertel) is why most Zimbabweans computers shall remain vulnerable to outside threats as updating is simply too expensive and even comapies like Econet are advising people to turn off automatic updating like its the norm when using the internet.

    Maybe its time these ISPs find a compromise between quality of their data networks, pricing and their own profitability. Sure Powertels $50 “unlimited” package sounds great but the heavily shared network can prove to be a problem at times even to those users that arent actually downloaders. On the other hand we have Econet with its 5mbps download speeds yet crazy prices. Maybe they could offer speed limited and soft capped packages like maybe a 5gb bundle limited to 1mbps meaning that quality on the network should not be greatly affected as everyone would not be maxing out their connections capability.

    But alas, we’re in Africa…Zimbabwe..where consumers are super weak and instead of the old adage that customer is king in this case its corporate wallets is king…

    Maybe in their near future one of the “big 3” operaters will see the real advaantage off wooing data customers to their network as lets face it, the future is data.

  3. Great article you should do these comparisons more often. Can you do one on broadband for home/office if u have done it already please send me a link??

  4. Price analysis is tough when you compare bundles or packages between rivals because Operators will always price away from direct competition to avoid descending into a price war. The ideal method would be to use at least one constant factor; for example if I am holding $1 what will I get from Econet. Telecel or Netone in terms of Gbs, Speed and Window period. But this method would also need to be run through some clever heuristic to iron out the disparities in the different competitor pricing models which are specifically designed to avoid the client being able to compare an Apple with an Apple…

    I guess at the end of the day the important question is – are you able to meet your needs with whatever Operator you have chosen.

  5. You article did not take into account the fact that if you buy 10MBs for a dollar from Telecel, you get 10MB free, that effectively make Telecel the cheapest of them all. Either way, data is still way too expensive in Zim…. just too expensive

  6. Is it possible to have a comparison of speeds? I am in Zimbabwe, currently with a Powertel connection; unlimited, but quite trying when it comes to the copious amounts of waiting required. In Germany I pay 35euros (~$48) a month, ~25Mbps. As such, the prices here for the service one gets are still way off par. But never-the-less, which is the fastest connection one can get?

  7. Is there a network available that gives you data that is on pre paid and international roaming. I am running a vehicle tracking business that uses data bundle, but I do not want to engage in a contract. I would like to keep it pre paid, but must be international roaming.
    Thanks.
    Piet

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