Econet launches underwhelming $1 for 10 free minutes service

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

econet-daily-bundle-menuIt’s not easy looking a gift horse in the mouth. See, we love cheaper voice and data so don’t get us wrong; we like that Econet is offering new cheaper stuff as a mobile operator. It’s new from them but not new in this market, and in fact compared to what’s already on the market, it is underwhelming. It’s as if Econet is offering with half its energy and hoping the subscribers will jump for joy with all their energy.

Anyway, done ranting. To the promo itself: it’s called a Daily Bundle promo and it offers free voice minutes, mobile broadband data and MMS messages (we had no idea people were still interested in MMS). Here’s a table of the promo offering:

Amount Free voice Free data Free MMS
$1 10 minutes 0 0
$2 22 minutes 0 0
$5 46 minutes 50MB 40 MMS
$10 94 minutes 100MB 80 MMS
$20 190 minutes 200MB 160 MMS

There’s no information about expiry but we’re guessing since it has “Daily” in the name, the free stuff vanishes after 24 hours. if you are a prepaid subscriber (Buddie), you can access these freebies right now if you dial *140#

Earlier today, Econet hinted on their Facebook page that they are cooking something BIG for the Buddie subscribers. Maybe this is it, we’re not sure.

The competition? $1 a day for 200 minutes and, Dollar a Day.


  1. Robert Ndlovu

    $ 1 for 10 minutes overwhelming ? All the GSM networks have been over charging voice so 10 minutes for a dollar does NOT qualify to be termed overwhelming.

    1. Guy

      “underwhelming” – re-read

      1. lurker133

        Haha, I saw the same thing commented on facebook

        1. Robert Ndlovu

          Ha ha ha some one needs new glasses.

  2. lurker133

    I suppose this will be enough for econet’s loyalist following. It’s actually not bad. Just that Telecel’s offer overwhelmingly better, hehe. It was just a matter of time before Econet became the follower. I admit I’m surprised they wised up this soon. Perhaps there’s hope for these guys.

  3. kupa

    I think this website should be called Telecel Zim since its already biased against Econet. The author just rushes to criticise without first gving us information then us the readers criticise. For example when Telecel is going to reconnect with Econet its simple publish as it is but we might get something like Telecel reconnects with the bully Econet

    1. lurker133

      That complaint usually goes the other way around mate. I’m sure you’re aware of the history of the topic; in this case there’s no doubt about Econet’s actions. Many of us mobile subscribers using either network are all reasonably frustrated with the situation and inclined to speak out. I think only a loyalist or shareholder would turn a blind eye and defend Econet on this one. (Mind, I’m not actually calling you any of these)

    2. Ben

      Thats reporting. The author is only comparing with other service providers. What do you wanted him/her to say?” Econet have launched a very generous promo that is going to make a joke of Telecel and Netone’s”? Comeon Kupa!

      1. L.S.M. Kabweza

        lol +1

    3. common

      this a blog and author can support who he wants.
      in this case he was just suggesting the better deal available to you the reader

    4. Joe

      Econet were caught napping by the competition. Their half hearted attempts at responding to the competition are more of a joke than anything else. The author is right. Econet must wake up now or else it will do so one day when everyone has migrated to the best customer responsive network

    5. Noetic Fan

      I think you are now becoming biased to the author of the article, yourself. IMHO the author hasn’t taken any sides he is just expressing his honest opinion on what econet has been saying a banger yet it is just 10 minutes for a dollar. Come on Netone does 1 hour in the afternoon and unlimited in the evening, telecel has an excellent promotion running as well. So frankly the Econet promo is nuts!!! HOLD ON one important question though DOES THIS 10 minutes apply all Networks (well in the meantime Buddie and Net-One?) ??? If the answer is yes then econet has got better than the other folks.

      1. L.S.M. Kabweza

        The promo is for Econet to Econet calls only

  4. Farai Sairai

    Reminds me of MTN Mahala promo vs Cell C Super charge promo. Cell C knocking the big guys out.

  5. ic0n1c

    Word on the “streets” is that Econet actually cannot afford to make meaningful promotions to counter competitors because of the negative implications it will have to the Group’s bottom-line. Econet Services is currently making huge losses with no meaningful profitability forecasted for the next 3 years and the cellular business is the only diamond in the mix. Additionally, the company’s management is becoming bloated with addition of several “Chiefs” for Econet Services, Steward Bank and Liquid (indeed all those “Chiefs” you see get their monthly allowances in a wheelbarrow!!!!)

    That said, Telecel has quite a significant advantage over its main competitor due to its low cost operational overhead structure, lean management structure and flexibility in adapting to the changes in the market. Econet, however, is still playing the “let’s see and wait” game… They are most likely to respond “overwhelmingly” when at least 10% of its customer base has jumped ship… But then again, it will be too late.

    By the way JGB Pattison is no longer listed as the company’s Chief Commercial & Customer Services Officer, he has been replaced by Stanley Henning. So who knows maybe Henning, a formmer CCO for Uganda Telecoms (converged network) might bring some real strategies on the table using his “vast” experience and restore Econet’s dignity once more.

    1. FireCell

      Mate you are spot on about the issue of too many “Chiefs” in Econet. Having been part of the system I know all that too well. These chiefs are sacred coz they were together with Strive in the trenches when they were applying for the license and the long running saga that came after it so Strive feels he owes these guys his life so they are untouchable. But the problem is that each Chief wants to re-affirm allegiance to Strive so they back-bite each other so much and there isn’t much progress at the end of the day. One thing people don’t seem to realise when you read Econet results is that they are heavily borrowed so anything that affects cash-flow will have a knock-on effect on debt repayment. No wonder why they are being hostile to Telecel.

      1. ic0n1c

        Interesting that you highlighted the issue of these guys bn untouchable, but you know eventually it will show in their performance and Strive will be forced to let some of these guys go. Though I like his approach of getting new guys from outside the organisation it seems there are always some guys there who will stifle progress just for the sake of maintaining their relevance… I hope they one day realize that one day Strive won’t be there to save them and shareholders and customers alike will demand for them to perform.

  6. joe starks

    Econet is running scared and the whole management has no clue whatsoever on how to respond to competition.
    what a paltry offer nonsense

  7. Muti

    $20 for 200m, Econet is a joke. Why do they always launch a similar promo just after Telecel launched ?” Dear Telecel can you please launch a daily unlimited data bundle so that Econet can come-up with a similar package within 7days”, yours sincerely Econet subscriber.

    1. KuraiMGT

      ” Dear Telecel can you please launch a daily unlimited data bundle so that Econet can come-up with a similar package within 7days”

      (banter) Why don’t you just move over. I would love to know what are the real barriers to subscribers to do a switch over??…..inertia, loyalty, number portability, coverage?? Curious!

      1. Muti

        1- I own a dual sim phone with both telecel & Econet lines.
        2- It cost a dollar to buy a line
        3- Telecel buys their internet unlike Econet.

        1. KuraiMGT

          Going dual is a masterstroke. Looking at my own experience, I couldn’t explain why I am stuck with the same network provider for over 8 years now (even though it is occasionally more expensive). I can only put it to the inconvenience of managing multiple sims with a single hand set. In the old days we used to say the damage to phone due to frequent sim changes will eventually be more costly than the the call savings.

  8. Noetic Fan

    HOLD ON one important question though DOES THIS 10 minutes apply all
    Networks (well in the meantime Buddie and Net-One?) ??? If the answer is
    yes then econet has got better than the other folks.

  9. Alu Moyo


  10. KuraiMGT

    I am curious as to what is driving this price war…….

    On the side of Telecel, is its pricing strategy offensive or defensive (are they gunning for more market share or they are leaking subscribers and are attempting to retain them). Is this pricing strategy sustainable, and can Econet sufficiently retaliate? What are other strategies still available to Telecel to increase its shareholder value?

    On the part of Econet, is Telecel’s strategy working against them or not (or are their own offensive strategies or defensive ones working, eg diversification, innovation market leader etc? Can they afford to ignore Telecel’s pricing strategy (or are customers responding to Telecel’s strategy).

    What makes my curiosity difficult to quench is the fact that Econet is public and Telecel; private, hence comparable information is not easily available. Potraz statistics such as capacities, quality metrics, coverage, and market metrics such as ARPU, EBITDA etc would have helped solving this curiosity of mine.

    One thing is apparent though, we the consumers will widen our smiles with each passing day as prices eventually permanently tumble and the market becoming more competitive.

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  13. Anonymous

    econet mavoice bundles enyu akadhakwa

  14. TechWiz

    econet yakaomera, they sent me a message promting there bundles of joy today. I tried it buy purchasing dollar bundles. Check my balance its goen I am left with 10mins which expire today apa its after 6pm who will i nyaudza with calls after hours iri ndiro dollar raenda. At least netone inokupa free talk time and data asi mari yako havatore.

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