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Unboxing Econet’s $99 Home Power Station

Yesterday, we shared some information on the discount that Econet is offering on its Home Power Station (HPS). This is a solar powered unit that offers lighting and device charging capabilities for users that are off the main power grid.

We managed to get some more details on the HPS, information that ought to clear up some of the questions that have been raised about the unit.

Current Model has no SIM Card

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As mentioned in the previous article, the current HPS being sold at $99 (it’s the same model that was retailing at $163  before the discounts) is a different version from the older units that were first introduced when Econet launched its solar devices unit. It also does not have a SIM card slot.

No SIM Card means no prepaid system

One other difference that comes with this new unit, because of the absence of SIM functionality, is that there is no prepaid system. According to the sales team at Econet, this means that the $99 is a cash only basis, with no staggered payments enabled through the prepaid model.

It’s cash only, no credit terms

Econet is not offering any other credit terms for the HPS right now, although some plans are being explored to do so for civil servants in the short term. This is hardly surprising considering the recent changes in the Zimbabwean Labour Law.

No additional charges after you buy the HPS

Once you pick up the HPS, you don’t have to assume any additional costs or monthly charges. You will, however, face the normal charges that come with any solar powered source for maintenance and there are options for lighting that Econet is also retailing in its stores, like the solar powered candle.


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11 thoughts on “Unboxing Econet’s $99 Home Power Station

  1. Eheka! Ndichakutengera masweets Nigel for a good follow, unoda ma.mint here kana kuti zadza dama.

    Im going to definately buy this because lm sure its going to solve one issue which was bothering me, cabling.

    But it raise another question again, can it be used to power radio or tv. It looks like l have to buy a separate solar system for that.

    If thats the case, is it worth for me to buy it or should l just go for a solar with battery.

    Can it be hacked, eg disconnecting solar panel from unit so that you can use it to charge another battery?

    1. Wnted to ask same qstion , I was more concerned about device specs like battry type used and capacity eg 10000mAh. I think this device can b hacked 2 b used with small devices like laptop charger, it only depents with battery size.

      1. USD99? LOL, it will come with a 7 amp hour battery. You will not be able to power much other than the lights and charge some USB devices.

  2. Thank you for the all round good article. Here is what we are looking for on product reviews
    1. Name of the product
    2. Product features & specifications
    3. Product price
    4. Link to where one can buy the product
    5. A preview of the advantages and disadvantages of the product
    6. List of other products that compete with the product being reviewed.

  3. Given the damage done by the first article, based on the questions asked and comments by LSM like –
    “The Home Power Station is a device that contains a typical Econet mobile SIM card enabling the device to link up with the cellular network, making it possible for the customer to pre-pay for energy usage, in the same way mobile phone users currently pay for airtime on their cell phone. Connected to the unit are batteries, a 4 light system with 4 switches for each light, a solar panel which goes onto the roof and generates that power for the batteries. The device also features a socket for charging your mobile phone and compatible to the GSM network.
    http://www.techzim.co.zw/2012/06/econet-solars-home-power-station-some-thoughts/
    Any redress for the affected party?

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