I am pretty sure majority of you are familiar with only Zol and TelOne when it comes to fiber. Telco might be one of those confused with TelOne here and there because of it being less prominent. But for me it was an absolute saving grace. Let me start from the beginning.
Moving to a new suburb
In January 2021 I moved to Haydon Park. A brand new development west of Harare which is a stone throw away from the shiny new Parliament building. It’s so new there is literally no electricity yet so it’s all 100% solar for everyone. What was worse for me is that there was no fixed internet service provider at all. No TelOne or Zol Fiber.
For the first 3 months I was living on Econet Private WiFi bundles and expensive as they were, I made it work. The speeds were good enough and so I could get some work done. But after those 3 months the service degraded hard. I went for long stints with just 3G and try uploading a 1GB video on 3G. It’s a nightmare.
Lenovo ThinkPad T460
Linovo laptop think pad
Rarely Used 2019 SE2719H Dell Monitor + Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
Airpods pro 4
So did NetOne
So I switched to NetOne OneFi bundles. And again they worked flawlessly. The 4G had great speeds and the signal was strong. They increased their prices and at one point were more expensive than Econet but I didn’t care. It did the job. About 4 months into our arrangement NetOne started acting up. At random times in the day network would just dissapear. Completely. All the way to 2G. And you’d be off the grid for 15 to 30 minutes before 4G came back. And this would happen 5 times a day.
Merry-Go-Round with Liquid Home
Eventually I got annoyed again and went and bought a 4G wifi router that I reviewed here. Reason why bought this router was that all this time I was using a smartphone as a hotspot with Econet and NetOne sims. However the phone I was using did not support Zol (Now Liquid Home) sim cards. Hense the router.
I threw in the Liquid Home sim card and the signal was average at best but at least at that time it was consistently average. Good enough to do stuff. Most of the time. But it was not good enough so I then grabbed a Wibroniks kit (Out Door Unit and router) that was lying around in the office and installed it at home myself. Yes by myself. I was desperate for good internet.
Ok. I have said nothing about Telco yet but I just want you to understand how much of a saving grace they were to my internet situation in a new development.
The full Liquid Home setup was complete but improvement was near negligible. I just had to endure at this point but because it was not good enough for my work. Uploading anything would kill the internet. Imagine. I then signed up for Fibroniks on the go from Liquid Home.
Essentially it allowed me to use my home wifi balance at any Africa Hub Passpoint wifi (Formerly Zolspot). And you can find one at any Simbisa outlet and some buildings like Joina City, Angwa City and the Ocean Basket and Cinema area at Sam Levy Village. How do I know these? Well because I was looking for a place with that particular Wifi and power so is can do my uploads there.
Along came Telco
Then November 2021 the Telco team pulled through with the trenching. I genuinely could not believe it. Fiber in the hood at long last. It was not until around half way through February 2022 that I saw a neighbour getting connected that I took a dash to their offices to pay for the installation.
Good turnaround time
Turn around time was supposed to be 30 days but i was connected 2 weeks later which was awesome. So to give it a test drive I kicked things off with the 42GB package. The cheapest one they have going for Z$3596.67. For comparison Liquid Home’s 40GB Fibroniks package is going for Z$4651. Telco is cheaper by about Z$1000 with 2GB extra which is not a bad deal.
Good consistent speeds
In terms of speed I was getting cosistent 5Mbps which is the speed for that package and i was finally able to download F1 2021…and also upload videos in the comfort of my room…and listen to music on Spotify…And view WhatsApp statuses…and scroll through Instagram. But remember that was just to test. And it passed the test. So I then went for their unlimited package.
This one came with 15Mbps and again it’s true to their claim. It’s not throttled any time of day from my experience so far. It had been what seemed like an eternity since I had used good internet at home. Of course there are still very few customers in my area. When I got connected I was the 8th customer in the area so it’s going to be interesting to see if there will be any changes in my speeds as the number of users grows.
So far I am a very happy man. The performance of Telco’s Fiber has been right up there with TelOne and Liquid Home in their glory days. Telco Fiber in my experience in my area may be the best performing internet that I have used so far. I’ll point out again that I may be enjoying such good speeds because only 8 of us are connected in my whole area so my experience might not be an accurate example of Telco’s service everywhere.
But if you didn’t know about Telco fiber and there is no other fixed internet provider in your area then you might want to give them a look. They might just be your saving grace. Here is how their packages look like.
It’s prices are similar to the competition
So below are all the packages they offer and it’s a nice spread between capped and uncapped. I’ll do a detailed comparison of Telco vs TelOne and Liquid Home (Zol) and see which one offers you the best price per GB.
|Data (GB)||Price (Z$)||Speed (Mbps)|
|Velocity 42||3 956||2|
|Supervelocity 70||8 733||4|
|Supervelocity 95||12 938||5|
|Supervelocity 165||19 084||5|
|Supervelocity 210||23 705||5|
|Velocity Fire||20 503||10|
|Velocity Ultra||29 632||15|
|Velocity Xtreme||42 365||20|
|SuperVelocity Fire||49 164||10|
|SuperVelocity Ultra||73 359||10|
|SuperVelocity Xtreme||100 909||20|
As for installation fees, the base fee for fiber is US$171 if your house is within 100m of the fiber line. Beyond that the fees will vary based on that distance. They also offer payment plans for installation which for me bumped up the installation fee from US$171 to US$180 making is US$60 paments spread over 3 months. This is something you can negotiate with them when signing the contract.
Apart from Fiber, Telco also has LTE in the form of WiMAX for areas where they do not have fiber as well as some VSAT services for those in the remote corners of the country. Looks like they do the full 360. If you are using any of Telco’s services I’m curious to know what your experience has been like. As for me. 10 days in. It’s been great!