It’s funny how a loud campaign from a single service provider can bring out a lot of aggression from the competition, especially where the opportunity for added revenue streams is made apparent to everyone concerned.
I’m referring to WiFi promotions that are now being pushed by every provider who has them. Ever since TelOne opened up its service line to include its first lot of WiFi Hotspots, we’ve had other service providers, like Telco, emerge from the shadows with their own campaigns for their paid-for WiFi services that they hadn’t been marketing aggressively.
The latest to do that is Africom. Yes, Africom has WiFi Hotspots, it’s just that this time they are being promoted in a campaign targeting “consumers in gated residential and business communities.” This translates to the provision of WiFi to places where you’ll find a lot of people. Africom is also recruiting resellers of these WiFi vouchers for the areas where the service is available. They are calling these resellers (basically voucher vendors and agents really) wifi-preneurs.
in a list provided by Africom which is also available on the provider’s Facebook page, Africom has 26 hotspots, mostly in Harare with some coverage in the City of Mutare and the town of Chinhoyi.
In terms of data cost, Africom has 3 WiFi bundles options, (data bundles, time-based bundles and family bundles) that ought to give its competition like ZOL and TelOne a run for its money. Sure, for the entry level bundles, it feels like a rip-off with 50c affording you 35 MB and $1 worth 70 MB (TelOne gets you 100 MB for that $1 and Telco is dishing out 110 MB for $1), but the real deal is with the larger data bundles. Africom is selling 6 GB of wifi for $6, a rate that is applied proportionally for its 10 GB and 20 GB bundles.
|DATA BUNDLES||PRICE ($US)|
|TIME BASED BUNDLES|
This makes the Africom wifi the cheapest on the market and the fact that (with the exception of its time-based bundles)its wifi vouchers do not expire gives it a strong competitive edge. The concern is the limited number of hotspots, something that Africom has said it is working on.
Will this huge play on price, an offer for un-expiring vouchers and free WhatsApp be enough to lure more users to Africom? It’s anybody’s guess really. In the meantime, we can, of course, applaud Africom’s efforts to lure the mobile broadband subscriber who now has more choice for cheaper internet access. Let’s just hope all this shared with more of Zimbabwe.