TelOne brought in a different angle to the FTTH crusade with its fibre service and Metro Wi-Fi. It’s target was 60 sites initially. This initiative is praiseworthy, and together with hotspots from other operators like ZOL, Telco and Africom, it looks like we are headed in the right direction.
It should be pointed out that collectively these operators have less than 300 hotspots countrywide. This is way less than the ideal Municipal Wi-Fi where there’s access for everyone in a metropolitan or municipal area.
With Econet’s bundle shuffle, I’ve become more serious about finding a broadband solution that works for me. I mean, if I must pay $6 for Whatsapp Extra and another $6 for Facebook, I might as well pay $15 for 2 Gig ADSL. With TelOne’s Home Package, I’d get Up to 1Mbps connectivity and 2 Gig downloads. That is what they say, at least.
Having visited TelOne with $15 in my pocket I walked out disliking mobile data lesser than before.
So where’s the catch?
Telone will buy page long adverts in the press and list all the packages you may or may not afford and describe in detail the pros and cons until you are satisfied you have selected a product that suits your needs.
The impression is that once you visit their offices with your $15 dollars for the Home Basic package, for example, all is set and by the time you get home they have already gone ahead and set up and you are connected by the end of the night.
What they conveniently forget to tell you however, is that you will need to pay $23 for a telephone line (the usual copy of ID, proof of residence required), $30 for a modem, $3 setup fees and wait seven days before you can pay your $15.
Oh and since you are going to have the landline installed it would make sense to buy their handsets for $27, just in case you need to make calls. Of course now that you are leasing a landline you are going to need to pay a fixed $5.75 monthly, even if you are not using the landline that month.
Lastly, when they say download cap of 2 Gig, they actually mean download, and upload, or simply; usage, so it’s not 2 Gig plus downloads but less. PS: You cannot download the latest Windows 10 on a month’s subscription.
My question is, could they not have said this BOLDLY somewhere in their adverts or website. For a basic setup where you pay $15 a month, you actually need to part with an initial $88.75 before you start subscribing for data.
Isn’t this a rather costly initial payment? How much does it really cost to deploy an ADSL line to the doorstep? Is there no other technology (Booster-To-The-Home) for providing connectivity from the nearest termination point? Are these not the same impediments that attendees have always talked about at broadband forums?
Among major hindrances to internet (broadband) adoption in the developing countries are the initial adoption costs and consumption costs. I would think that it makes more sense for ISPs to absorb the setup costs and quicken the solution provision.
That way, with loyalty promotion, they can recover the costs spread over time, post signup. Case in point: SIM cards costs hundreds of dollars initially. This was before the shift to airtime as the cash cow. So why does TelOne need to reinvent the wheel?
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