For as long as the Zimbabwe dollar exists, it will depreciate rapidly and we will have to contend with regular price increases. However, we still have a multicurrency regime and prices quoted in the US dollar are a tad more stable.
Recently, mobile network operators were allowed to increase their tariffs and so we have to dance again to find out what’s the best option when paying – USD or ZW$.
Of course, the rate we will use to convert is important. I am not sure what kind of rate you get from your neighbourhood dealer but we shall work with 1:6500. Feel free to make your own conversions using the rate you actually get on the ground.
Here is what Econet will charge you:
Private WiFi + O/Peak – USD:
- $38 = Peak 25GB + O/Peak 5GB
- $26.50 = Peak 16.6GB + O/Peak 3.4GB
- $20 = Peak 11.2GB + O/Peak 2.8GB
- $13 = Peak 8GB + O/Peak 2GB
- $9 = Peak 4GB + O/Peak 1GB
Private WiFi – ZW$:
- $1,012,212 = 50GB [∼US$156, sheesh]
- $589,350 = 25GB [∼US$91, my goodness]
- $402,066 = 15GB [∼US$62]
- $222684 = 8GB [∼US$34]
As you can see, you have no business paying using ZW$. Look at the 25GB bundle for example, if you pay using USD, you will have to pay $38 but if you use ZW$, you will fork out the equivalent of $91.
The only people who should buy Private WiFi bundles using ZW$ are those that are getting an exchange rate of at least 1:15,510.
General Data – USD:
- Hourly Bouquets → $2 = Peak 2500MB + O/Peak 500MB (1 Hour)
- Daily Bouquets → $3 = Peak 520MB, O/Peak 130MB
- Weekly Bouquets → $3 = Peak 400MB, O/Peak 100MB; $4 = Peak 800MB, O/Peak 224MB
- No monthly bouquets
General Data – ZW:
- Hourly Bouquets → No hourly bouquet
- Daily Bouquet → $16,701 = 600MB [∼US$2.57]
- Weekly Bouquets → $7,062 = 250MB [∼US$1.09]; $9,719 = 370MB [∼US$1.50]
- Monthly Bouquet → $36,885 = 1400MB [∼US$5.67]
The first thing to note is that there are way more options on the ZW$ side of the table. We only picked the ones that were the most comparable to the USD options.
There isn’t much of a difference between the USD and ZW$ options in the general data category. For example, you will get 650MB for US$3 of which 130MB of it is only usable between 11pm and 4am. Or 600MB for the equivalent of US$2.57 using ZW$. It’s cheaper to pay using ZW$ in this case but not by much
Consider the rate you can get and decide accordingly.
WhatsApp – USD:
- $3 = WhatsApp 1 Month – Peak 400MB, O/Peak 100MB
- $7 = WhatsApp 1 Month – Peak 1200MB, O/Peak 300MB
WhatsApp – ZW$:
- $11,397 = WhatsApp 1 Month – 400MB [∼US$1.75]
- $6,879 = WhatsApp 1 Month – 240MB [∼US$1.06]
The obvious choice here is the ZW$ one. You get 400MB for only US$1.75 as opposed to $3 for the same amount of data if you paid using USD. Yes, I know, there is a bonus 100MB usable in the middle of the night with the USD option but I don’t think many people take advantage of that.
For today only
Unfortunately, the above comparisons are for today only because the exchange rate is always fluctuating. On top of that, the comparison is only accurate if you get an exchange rate of 6500. We all get slightly different rates and so some will find the above misleading.
However, I do not believe anyone is getting a rate high enough to justify buying Private WiFi bundles using ZW$. Use US$ for those.
What’s crazy though is that this will change in time as the ZW$ continues to slide against the USD. Econet here jumped on the chance to charge the maximum they could to make sure they get the most they can before the rates change. This tends to happen when prices are controlled as they are in the telecoms sector.
Anyway, remember there are combos in the USD menu that might provide more value to you. You can read about those here: