Econet introduces more free websites: our take

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An ad appearing in today’s Herald has information to the effect that Econet Wireless has introduced free access to three websites as follows:

Econet introduces free browsing on selected websites. Is there any value prosition here?
Econet introduces free browsing on selected websites. Is there any value proposition here?

For those who don’t know, Yookos is a social network with a Christian foundation. Econet has a longstanding relationship with Yookos through Strive Dr Masiyiwa (the company’s founder and group chairman). In essence number one is a no brainer as Zimbabwe has a large Christian community that could see value in the offering. What is a bit surprising though is the fact that number 2 & 3 are even being advertised as free offerings, it’s difficult to imagine consumers seeing value in accessing both sites. A number of Zimbabwean ISPs provide free access to their sites by default, there really isn’t much value there unless the network introduces an app store or a content portal. Maybe this is on the way already…

The ad went further to introduce two offers that we struggled to interpret and have reached out for more info. But Apparently, the silver package (30-60MB) gives you free browsing on and and the gold package (60+ MB) gets you free browsing on two additional sites, namely and

You’ll probably have noticed by now that is the only local site available in the package. Whilst it’s great that Econet is finally promoting a local website, this site is sadly no longer up as it was recently suspended by Webdev. It would make sense to provide free access to a site like instead. This puts the spotlight on the need for an open door policy with regards to local content. The country’s nascent start-up ecosystem witnessed grassroots players such as providing mobile only or rather mobile first platforms. Without deliberate support from the telecommunications industry, these start-ups will not survive as was the case with Tengesa.


  1. Muti

    Econet should employ not only young people, but people who use the internet.

    1. Lanfton

      You think they don’t know what they are doing? Thus is well planned!

  2. Obnub

    Hear, hear! Their facebook promotion too is a disaster in fact it seems to charge you more of your data bundle when you subscribe!

  3. Douglas Mkhize

    This sounds more like a promotional to watch ZTV 1.2 and listen to ZBC 1-4 limited choice. Is this what people want.?

  4. anthonysomerset doesnt work outside the UK, it redirects to anyway so you wont benefit from that one

    oh and isnt dead right now?

    1. fourwallsinaroom

      Nice catch Anthony, Its funny I have been doing some research on DNS proxies. I wonder if this is what EWZ is doing, because if they are well….i ll just leave it at that. On a more serious note where can one find how many zimbabwean’s actually access these websites and how long / how much data is exchanged? Similar to what i see in google analytics for my site.

      1. anthonysomerset

        you wont get that info out of econet which would be the only place to get that data – its likely they are not using DNS proxying but transparent proxying in general so they can tell what sites you look at on there proxies

    2. Kevin

      hmmmm, is that so??? I am in Zim and when browsing bbc, mine doesn’t redirect from .uk to .com!!!

      1. anthonysomerset

        maybe its just my computer then – it was doing that previously – i run bbc through a VPN now though so i get UK content and *cough* iplayer *cough*

    3. WaStrive

      tried connecting on and it directed me to Try it before you comment

  5. Victory

    Econet, econet, ecooooneeeeet!!! Let’s focus a bit more on customer satisfaction shal we? What exactly made you decide to make THOSE sites free? I hope it was because most of your subscribers were using them more than 5 times a day and so they appreciate you providing them for free.

    1. Liz

      At least they are trying lets be fair and just stop hating. someone obviously did some research into this product to scertain what sites people like as well as offer their own site s for free and ofcourse it has to make business sense

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