Econet attempts to steal thunder from NetOne’s OneTech with civil servants smartphone offer

Posted by Read 9 Comments

In a move seemingly aimed at competing with NetOne’s launch of financed smartphones today, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has just announced a smartphone financing offer.

Econet reached out with a press release close to the end of the day announcing “huge credit scheme that will empower civil servants and all eligible government employees to get new smartphones for free”.

Free there means zero deposit for civil servants.

We’re not sure how the two competing companies came to launch what’s essentially a similar product on the same day. We’re guessing Econet is trying to steal the thunder from NetOne’s launch since there seems to have been more launch preparation by NetOne. But who knows, maybe it’s NetOne who got wind of the developments at Econet and decided to pull it from under their feet.

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Whatever is the case, it’s a week of new product launches and that’s never a bad thing for customers. New choices!

There are some key differences with the two companies’ products however:

  • Where NetOne’s OneTech is targeted at all corporate customers (large companies, SMEs, government etc…) Econet is focusing on civil servants only. The civil servants market has traditionally belonged to Gtel, but interesting to see everyone getting into it.
  • NetOne’s cheapest deal is $18 a month for a ZTE Blade L100. Econet says their cheapest deal is $12 but doesn’t mention what device it is. We have asked for details and will update once we get a response
  • NetOne doesn’t have zero deposit. Econet is emphasizing they do.
  • NetOne has international device brands like Samsung, Apple, ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo and the like. Econet is offering just the two local brands, Gtel and Astro. NetOne did say though that Astro is coming in the future.
  • Finally, and most important, NetOne has free OneFusion for a year. This is where Econet will probably lose the race – they don’t have a OneFusion. Say what you like about OneFusion and how maybe it’s unsustainable for NetOne, there’s clear indication in the market that lots of subscribers love it. Econet does say though that they have “Monthly data, voice and SMS” but doesn’t clarify how much.

That said, without any additional information on the devices Econet has on offer, it is difficult to compare the two. Once we know the devices and the exact terms, we’ll certainly provide another comparison.

We’re getting the sense that the Econet offer was rushed. We could ofcourse be wrong. We looked around on digital platforms and save the press release we got in our mail, we can’t find any information about this new civil servants device offer anywhere. Not on the Econet social media pages and not on their website. That’s very much unlike Econet and it’s telling.

 

You can read the Econet full press release on the launch of financed devices for civil servants here.

NetOneEconet Wireless Zimbabwe

NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service... Read More About NetOne

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet Wireless Zimbabwe

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9 Comments

  1. John says:

    This feels like a very rushed reactionary article – written to get views on your website LOL I would suggest getting more information before jumping the gun and using such bold statements. This article feels like a fluff piece.

  2. Sandra says:

    Cleary Econet must have something up their sleeve, yes it seems that there isn’t much information out there but looking at past products & services – this could be big! I’m excited to see what this credit scheme is all about. As a civil servant I would love to own a nice phone but cash upfront is just not possible. Econet, we are excited!

  3. Tadiwa says:

    NetOne are always the followers so I won’t be surprised if they got wind and scrambled to put something together in order to launch first. Knowing Econet’s history I am sure there is something good coming out. Can we really call these 2 competitors, do they even play in the same league??

  4. Judith says:

    Just sitting back eating popcorn waiting to see how this will unfold. Let the games begin!

  5. Reader says:

    “In a move seemingly aimed at competing with NetOne’s launch of financed smartphones today, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has just announced a smartphone financing offer. Econet reached out with a press release close to the end of the day announcing “huge credit scheme that will empower civil servants and all eligible government employees to get new smartphones for free”. Something just got me thinking. So does it mean Econet successfully initiated the process of negotiations with gadget suppliers, financiers & all due processes including getting all approvals from all necessary paperwork from regulators (Potraz) to launch the “promotion” all in few hours after NetOne’s launch???? Just food for thought.

    1. So does it mean Econet successfully initiated the process of negotiations with gadget suppliers, financiers & all due processes including getting all approvals from all necessary paperwork from regulators (Potraz) to launch the “promotion” all in few hours after NetOne’s launch????

      Nowhere in the article does it say Econet did that. Article simply says the launched a few hours later, and not that they designed negotiated and launched in a few hours.

      1. Reader says:

        Interesting!!! In a highly regulated sector of ours, I am doubtful if it would be factual that, and i quote, “…..We’re getting the sense that the Econet offer was rushed…” Anyway, all said and done, ultimately competition benefits us all as customers….lolest. Hoping the 3rd player in the sector brings in something as well…..good for us hey….kkkkkkk

  6. ED says:

    I wonder when you start saying attenpts to steal! Well you want us to read your article we have done so, but did you know that Econet already had deals that catered for civil servants on their handset deals. I got mine via ZIMTA while other with TUZ. With my Smart device deal from econet enjoyed offnet minute and onnet even data 3.4Gg each month.

  7. shumbasamaita says:

    The writer obviously did not do his homework or its a deliberate attempt at portraying NetOne as ahead of Econet which is blatantly false. For starters regulatory approvals is not obtainable in a flush like that & Econet is very alert not to break any regulations. Econet is targeting a relatively low risk customer segment where its collections will be done at source through SSB, where NetOne is going for very risky corporates where cash flows are so erratic servicing the financing from BanABC will be a challenge.The default rate will be high in this respect. More flesh to your story Mr writer will help to inform us otherwise you will continue to witness reduced revenues and increasing losses by NetOne despite positive coverage in the media. Innovation is only good when it improves the topline and bottomline

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