Back in May, Zol had a lavish event where they revised Fibroniks packages slightly and introduced a new LTE-based set of packages under the name Wibroniks. Though that launch event was exciting and had us hyped, pretty soon we realised that the Wibroniks was far from perfect.
Wibroniks was a money vacuum
The first and biggest stumbling block was the cost you would have to incur to get this package installed. The packages themselves were not outrageous but the fact that customers had to incur prices of either $250 or $350 to get the modems required for Wibroniks was suicidal on ZOL’s part. I just didn’t think Wibroniks would make a dent on the market with this kind of a move and it seems ZOL think so too.
The internet service provider sent out emails to customers highlighting two new Wibroniks packages that will allow customers to get the modem at a subsidised cost as the package is a 12 month contract. These new packages will cover both capped and uncapped packages.
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For capped packages there is one new package; a 12 month contract where customers will be required to pay $59 per month before the price falls to $38 after the duration of the contract. This $59 dollars will get you 35Gb and the equipment which you would normally pay $250-$350 for.
For Wibroniks Unlimited one had to part with $119+ the equipments cost but there is a new package which will require customers to fork out $149 for 12 months and get unlimited access as well as the equipment. Both limited and unlimited packages will be capped at 15Mbps.
Though this is not ground breaking, it does significantly lessen the entry level for people who are interested in getting quality internet access without necessarily having to sell body parts to finance that. I think the 35Gb package is still too expensive but it is much cheaper than One-Fi if you consider the fact that for One-Fi you still have to pay $135 upfront for the modem before you factor in data costs.
The unlimited package is much more palatable and I would not have too many reservations recommending it to interested customers, especially when we take into account the fact that ZOL is usually very reliable when it comes to connectivity and in 12 months you will have a significant price drop awaiting you.
Paying slightly more for the modems…
So what I did notice with the contract approach is that regardless of how you look at it you’re going to end up spending more for the modem. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re in an area covered by the indoor $250 modem or the outdoor $350 modem but you’re going to pay more. For the 35Gb package it’s hard to make a comparison because Wibroniks did not have a 35Gb package before. Comparing the amounts you pay for the unlimited packaged without the equipment VS the unlimited package with equipment looked like this:
|Package Price For 12 Months||Indoor Modem Cost||Outdoor Modem|
|Wibroniks unlimited (equipment sold separately)||$1678||$1778|
|Wibroniks unlimited (equipment included in contract)||$1788||$1788|
Obviously for those in areas where only the outdoor modem works, there is no conversation – you are better served going for the $149 with equipment deal as you stand to save only $10 buck by paying for equipment upfront. For those in areas with access to indoor modems you’re going to pay $110 more over the 12 months if you go for the contract deal, which I think is still a better deal since you actually pay this premium over 12 months.
Anyway, ZOL has clearly seen that their initial strategy failed to click with consumers. It will be interesting if consumers will now be willing to consider taking the dive and signing up for Wibroniks.