The war for mobile broadband market has continued to escalate as state owned operator, Telone continues to chew inside the new emerging broadband market with their innovative products.
They initially launched the first ever most affordable data promotion when they torched a storm with $1 for 100mb data wifi hotspots, and just recently, Telone announced an extra bonus 250mb to the dollar to make it a 350mb, all for the same dollar.
By Tongai Mwenje
We have every reason to believe that they want to remain relevant in the market, and a recent price shift is a reaction to the current market rates being set by mobile network operator, Econet who currently are offering a whopping 250mb for the same dollar.
To date, the Telone bundle makes a record breaking offer and interesting times are set ahead, as we are closely watching how the market will respond to this new promotion which has made mobile broadband access a reality for all in Zimbabwe.
Telone will however face a major disadvantage as their fixed mobile hotspots will not be able to offer any help to mobile subscribers who demand their data on go!
Their major limitation is that they are targeting people who will need to walk in to their hotspot areas, probably while they while up time on parks, bus stations or other public areas, which brings great convenience to such areas but this solution will not be of any impact to mobile users on the go.
Their target currently is mass market where people are likely to converge and take much longer time on hence the mobility experience will greatly improve especially in areas like the Joina city and Africa unity square where we have the young already embracing the service.
Compared to the current data offers, Telone is only meant to closely compete with Powertel Econet Wireless Zimbabwe daily bundles which are offering 1gand 250mb daily data bundles, respectively and yes the difference is huge enough that a subscriber will opt out for the fixed mobile terminals since every megabyte really matters.
Telecel and Netone fall way back in line as they only give 9mb and 17 respectively , which will force many subscribers to abandon their data gateways as they have fell off from a reality check.
The promotion could help TelOne market its upcoming ‘Metro Wifi’ or technically city wifi project as they drive towards being a converged service provider in Zimbabwe.
Powertel earthquake bundles comes in as a strong contender or better of the best with their current $2.50 for 1GB or 2GB of data for only $5 promotion based on their CDMA network and fibre. The major advantage they have is mobility , while they are still to fix the most sticking issue of coverage, which still makes it good news only to a few subscribers under their coverage, their major ill is that it expires after 2days which makes sense only for heavy downloads, though we are yet to test the reported high speeds.
Telco one of the players in the market has a $1 for 110MB which leaves it 240MB short of what TelOne is offering and they are yet to complete the matrix on coverage.
Africom another CDMA carrier has remained resonant with their $1 offering 100mb of data, while they equally face the same limitations of wireless transmission over CDMA transmission and coverage issues.
(Updated we had cited the old pricing)
ZOL Zimbabwe, which has been tagged for fast broadband, has got a solution for their mobile hotspots called Zolspots offering 1G valid for 30 Days for $5.
TelOne a traditional fixed operator has reinvented itself with a new identity causing quiet a stir on the broadband market, however they still need to do more to make sure they win the game of numbers which is being hotly contested.