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The Best Mobile Data Bundle You Can Buy [Updated]

If you were looking for cheap mobile data in Zimbabwe, where would you go? Are you sure your current data provider of choice is the very best or is it a matter of who is charging less?

Well in this article I shall be taking you on an expedition to get as close as possible to which service provider is the overall best. Think of it as a contest of networks. Let’s get to it.

The Contenders

The contest comprises of 4 of Zim’s most popular MOBILE data service providers that include Econet, NetOne, TelOne and Zol/Liquid. Specifically we are comparing their high volume data packages (2GB+). The packages are Private Wifi Bouquets (Econet), OneFi (NetOne), Blaze LTE (TelOne) and Wibroniks (Zol/Liquid).

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The Categories

Price is not the only factor you should consider when choosing any product or service. And that’s why in this contest it’s one of the 5 categories which are:

  • Device support: Works in which phones, routers or mifi devices
  • Network Coverage: Which areas is the service available
  • Selection: How broad is the product range
  • Perks: What does each one of the packages have that make it attractive
  • Price: We all know this one. Cheapest one wins

Ratings

Ratings are out of 5. 1 is a poor score in whatever category and 5 is the best score. At the end, scores of each package from all the categories are added up and the package with the highest score wins. Enough with the formalities. On with the show.

Device Support

Econet Private Wifi BouquetsNetOne OneFiZol WibroniksTelOne Blaze LTE
Works on all smartphones, LTE routers or Mifi devices that accept sim cardsWorks on all smartphones, LTE routers or Mifi devices that accept sim cardsWorks only on a few smartphones that support the ZOL Wibroniks LTE frequency band
Works on most LTE routers and Mifi routers that accept sim cards
Works only on a few smartphones that support the TelOne Blaze LTE frequency band
Works on most LTE routers and Mifi routers that accept sim cards
5533

Network Coverage

Econet Private Wifi BouquetsNetOne OneFiZol WibroniksTelOne Blaze LTE
Largest number of LTE base stations
Largest Nationwide coverage
Second largest number of LTE base stations
Second largest nationwide coverage
Available in parts of Harare and parts of Bulawayo onlyAvailable in parts of Harare only.
Service only available within 10km from the TelOne exchange the line was registered
5433

Selection

Econet Private Wifi BundleNetOne OneFiZol WibroniksTelOne Blaze LTE
4 packages to choose from 8GB, 15GB, 25GB, 50GBOnly 3 packages to choose from 25GB, 50GB, 80GB11 different packages
2GB, 3GB, 5GB, 10GB, 15GB, 20GB, 25GB, 30GB, 60GB, 100GB, Unlimited
6 different packages 8GB, 15GB, 20GB, 40GB, 100GB, Unlimited
3254

Perks

Econet Private Wifi BouquetsNetOne OnefiZol WibroniksTelOne Blaze LTE
Wide Network Coverage20% discount if you use OneMoney to buy any bundle Largest selection of packages to choose from
Unlimited package
Unlimited package
3421

Price Per GB

 Econet Private Wifi BundlesNetOne OneFiZol WibroniksTelOne Blaze LTE
LowestZ$40/GBZ$18.75/GB
Z$15/GB (OneMoney)
Z$57.72/GBZ$6.28/GB
AverageZ$51.95/GBZ$23.25/GB
Z$18.6/GB (OneMoney)
Z$92.83/GBZ$50.62/GB
2413

Results

 Econet Private Wifi BouquetsNetOne OneFiZol WibroniksTelOne Blaze LTE
Device Support5533
Network Coverage5433
Selection3254
Perks3421
Price2413
Total18191414

Thoughts…

Well then. Looks like NetOne took it. But just by a point really so it was not a complete walk over. Thanks to the 20% discount when using OneMoney, NetOne eked out a win over the other 3.

Price comparisons are a headache when packages are not directly comparable. So the best way to do it was pick the price per GB but which one?
Well we took the best offering from all 4 in terms of price per GB so that we could get the lowest price per GB. In all the packages the most expensive package was the one with the lowest price per GB. This excludes unlimited bundles for obvious reasons.

Problem now is looking at the lowest price per GB alone does not show the full picture of which service provider has the most reasonable pricing across the board.

So we took the price per GB for each package offered by a service provider, added them all up for a particular service provider and came up with an average.
This average again does not include unlimited packages.

NetOne has the best bang for the buck here and if you need to get some data for that line you can just click on this link and pay using EcoCash for your convenience.

Updated 7 May 2020

Econet and NetOne both revised their offerings upwards resulting in their packages becoming a bit less attractive. This also means they both lost some points.

Econet lost a total of 3 points falling from a total of 19 to 16. 1 point was lost in the Selection category where it reduced it’s offering to just 2 options down from 3.
Private Wifi also lost 2 points in the Price category where it went from being one of the overall cheapest to literally the most expensive.

NetOne lost a point in the pricing category as well bringing it to 19. As much as this hit brought it closer to TelOne’s Blaze LTE and Zol’s Wibroniks, the drastic changes in the Econet Private Wifi bundle only increased NetOne’s lead against Econet.

Updated 30 May 2020

Econet added 2 new packages to it’s Private Wifi Bouquet offering bringing the total to 4 packages. This made it gain a point in the selection category.
NetOne lost a point in the same category with it’s OneFi as it now has the least number of options with just 3.

Regardless these changes are not enough to affect the positions. Overall NetOne’s OneFi is still the most favorable option in this space.


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17 thoughts on “The Best Mobile Data Bundle You Can Buy [Updated]

  1. I stay in Norton and Econet data coverage is not that good so I switched to Net1 a year ago and I have not regretted. There are pple using the Econet private wifi complaining that their data is disappearing. I’ve experinced that where my 250mb daily bundle lasts till next day on Net1 and 250mb bundle on Econet lasts a few hours. Don’t know what Econet does with their data but it flies even when not browsing or on app.

  2. telone and neone for a harare/chitungwiza resident are besr choice as for liquidd telecoms its trash … now adays their 3g network is so poor especially econet

  3. i have used the zol wibroniks in Kwekwe, Masvingo Gweru so when you said it’s only available in Harare and Bulawayo that’s a direct lie

    1. Oh really? Will definitely test that out. Didn’t know they are also available there. However it still does very little to change the score for ZOL in that category. Their coverage is still poorer compared to Econet and NetOne but thanks for that insight

  4. The biggest One-Fi package is 80GB in the menu, not 75GB as you write in your article. On the subject of “perks”, looking at the ussd menus, Econet does not appear to have any balance enquiry option for Private Wifi, but Netone does have balance check for One-Fi. Another thing to note, the One Money discount is for buying AIRTIME not bundles. I bought other bundles with One Money and got no discount. Now granted I didn’t ACTUALLY TRY to buy One-Fi directly with with One Money because I did not want to risk losing the discount (since the marketing SMSes are pretty clear that it’s for AIRTIME) so I can’t say for sure 100%, but I did buy WhatsApp bundles for another device using One Money direct – got no discount. Based on that, I 98% expect it will be the same story for all bundles: you have to buy AIRTIME first and then convert that airtime into a bundle in order to enjoy that 20% discount.

    1. The mobile networks need to have packages with lower GB to widen choice range. I have company 50GB that I know will expire soon before I exhaust it.

    2. you can check econet private wifi balance on *143#, I have been using it all along in waterfalls and it’s the best, tried zol and netone their speeds don’t match econet at all, in Harare at least.

  5. I was using Zol in budiriro harare all along but its started connection probles so its true zol works according to areas and now l have switched to netone l don’t have any regrets it works super fine

  6. I had an option to choose between econet private bundle and netone onefi.I chose the latter.Though they costs the same, netone discounted $80 for buying airtime via onemoney and it doesnt have history of making clients’ data disappear, -econet style…move over to netone onefi bundles!

  7. Zol has wibroniks everywhere not in Harare alone. I use it in Chinhoyi. But Netone ndiyo irikurira at the moment. Internet speed is very fast to the extent that they are offering a bundle called 1gb for 1hour. You can exhaust that one gig in 10 minutes only in downloads due to the speed. 20% discount on One Money airtime purchases and coverage in the most remote areas. There are so many advantages for using Netone.

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