Last month, when Powertel finally implemented its billing system, they promised to release some exciting products soon. Well, that soon has come and it’s exciting. Well, the price point at least. Powertel mobile broadband subscribers will now be able to buy prepaid internet for as low as $1.20 for a day of unlimited web surfing. Those that prefer more days can get a new $6 for 5 days service.
PowerTel Commercial Director Willard Nyagwande referred to the new packages as designed to “show the market that we are now fully operating into prepaid bundles data market.” He also said that it will increase uptake of their consumer mobile broadband as customers who cannot afford to pay for the regular monthly package will not be able to pay just for a day (or week). The reasoning makes sense, but whether customers will go for it is a wait and see.
The ‘bundles’ can be bought at Powertel shops and ZESA banking halls. Nyagwande told us that soon retailers like OK, Spar will be distributing the the product too. As for the trailing cents (change is a problem in Zimbabwe), the only way you can guarantee to actually pay that exact amount is if you use the EcoCash mobile money payment service.
In terms of the price of data, Powertel’s new package is a really big deal. The only service that comes closer in terms of pricing is Econet’s Facebook bundles allowing you to pay just 95 cents for unlimited access to Facebook for a week. But yeah, the difference is Powertel is offering the whole internet, so even that doesn’t come close.
The only drawback is that right now to access this, if you’re not on Powertel yet, you have to buy a new dongle, which costs $25. Mobile operators have the on the go mobile phone access which is much more convenient but you still get less for a $1 on their platforms. And there could be another drawback – the speeds you get on that unlimited data depends a lot on where you are accessing the network from. Some areas are congested and some are not, so you pray you’re in the later. But then again, the $1.20 a day service might mean more people and more congestion.