Dear Brodacom, please stop with these false claims already

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

If you’re in Zimbabwe and checked the newspapers yesterday, you probably saw the Brodacom advert above. The advert claims that before Brodacom came along, setting up fixed broadband in Zimbabwe used to cost US $3,500 and that thanks to Brodacom, that figure has been brought down to US $99.50, the price of Brodacom’s Wi-Fi device for small businesses and individuals.

It’s not the first time they have made this claim. The campaign has been running for some weeks now but before yesterday that specific claim was just subtle and it was easy to look over it. Now, it seems after getting away with it a few times, they decided to just come out and try to make it the truth.

It is not true.

WiMax setup from other ISPs and IAPs currently costs between US $200 and $500 and the developments in technology have resulted in a move away from installing equipment on steel towers. No ISP needs to dig up your lawn to setup a fixed broadband connection. Unless maybe they’re laying fibre to your premises, but Brodacom does fibre too so…

Falsehoods aside, the annoying part of all this is the fact that Brodacom has indeed brought cheaper fixed broadband setup options. But they haven’t really revolutionized anything like the adverts would like us to believe. They’ve contributed to lowering costs yes, but these figures are just exaggerated shamelessly.

And it doesn’t end there. The 3.9G and 4G claims too are annoying. And no, we have no idea what generation their equipment is. It doesn’t matter. For us the point is that you should advertise what you are delivering to your customers.

When we tested the Brodacom internet for the review last week, we didn’t experience 4G speeds.  We didn’t even experience 3G speeds. But that’s not to say it wasn’t good internet. It was great internet. We loved it. It just wasn’t what we’d call a 4G experience.

It’s annoying. They bring good mobile internet speeds to the market and instead of just telling everyone they have faster internet, they decide to stand out and stretch it to 4G. They lower fixed broadband setup costs and instead of just telling us they have lower priced internet setup, they inflate the figures to make it look revolutionary.

In a market where no advertising association holds companies accountable to what they advertise, NetOne got away with claims they had the widest network coverage when the truth was Econet had far surpassed them, Econet claimed (on billboards around the country) they had 3G when the truth was they could only deliver it to a tiny fraction of their subscriber base, and Spiritage is getting away with 4G claims.


  1. Max Soutter

    Dude, you took this right out of my next blog post! It’s crazy some of the marketing claims being thrown around these days. Still, some are funnier than others.

  2. KuraiMGT

    We need a watchdog……..this is ridiculous.

  3. Czartang

    thank you for noticing and writng this story.
    its so annoying how these brodacom people lie
    they blocked me from their facebook webpage coz i asked them the very same questions and kuldnt answer.

    i honestly kno when econet claimed 3g it was actually edge

    they all liars
    its coz we have no competition here like other countries

    brodacom pliz do play fair

  4. ★ Byers Design ★

    For sure @twitter-190948683:disqus … there needs to be a watchdog. Brodacom, gone are the days when these outrageous claims go unnoticed. Pull up your socks guys. Telone can give you unlimited internet at 2mb/s for around $200 a month… where the hell are u getting this $3500. Outrageous

  5. Raymond Swart

    Max, another calling for you and your circles to set up this watchdog! If anyone can You Can!

  6. Sikefula

    oh well,guys…i live in marondera and there is some truth in this…called powertell,zol and others for a quote,to set up wimax for me,they average $3,500.00 plus around $200/mth subs for ‘unknown’-speed internet access…so its actually true abt the $3.500.00 figure if yu asked around before…suffice to say am now very happy with telone adsl at $33/mth for 256kbs speeds,i  actually use their gold option of $110/mth for 1mbps claim speed…wateva the case,its very reliable,reasonably fast (you can actually video skype and watch you tube videos of live web streaming at best)

    1. Magneto

      Sikefula I think the point here is that Brodacom should avoid glossing over facts in their adverts. Its probably a gimmick to lure uninformed and unsuspecting customers.

  7. Wonder

    Advertising is all about selling. By nature, advertising is neither neutral nor objective!My O level Commerce taught me about Persuasive and Informative advertising Strategies and this is one good example of of the former! They are not very wrong and at the same time they are not very right! Even if there is a watchdog, they can prove that there are still a lot of IAP/ISPs charging those figures for Wimax, go to Ecoweb and ask for a quotation!!!!!!

  8. Riverdance

    I am not sure why Brodacom assumes that their postential customers are uneducated and unelightened. 4G standards are yet to be agreed upon internationally and networks are banding LTE around as the next best thing in Broadband (re: MTN and Cell C in South Africa and Organge in France.) Brodacom is nowhere near that level. We do have the Advertising Standards Authority in Zimbabwe which should curtail such abuse of consumer space. I believe that Brodacom is trying to achieve what it failed to do in practice by advertising. I remember reading that the owner of the company has a revered advertising background. Maybe he micromanges and tells his operatives how to do their work. I’m just saying.

  9. byron

    guys why dont you appreciate.BRODACOM is coming hot and its becoming a threat to other providers.i tested the  survice and the truth is they is no fast internet than brodacom’s in this country.again we should thank them for the law rates.give them chance you will see that they will be the best SP in this country.others are just there to  SUCK money from our pockets.okay look,how many minutes if not hours do you take to download something using ECONET or any other SP.

  10. Anonymous

    TELONE TELONE TELONE GUYS IS BEST ON FIXED, CONTRACT KIND OF NET ACCESS, THEY ARE QUICK TOO IN SETTING UP UP (WELL IN BYO AT LEAST I KNOW FOR SURE), AT $30/256kbps/10gb/month who can beat that. On Mobile solution Africom is well priced at $18/1gig/month though they cant stick to their promised bandwidth. So it really depends what you consider as “good”…is it 1. Cost of initial setup. 2, monthly subs. 3, bandwidth consistency ….most consumers really cant tell the diff in this high tech maze of internet connectivity, l know many companies have been duped into signing for crazy services only to discover when they bought expensive unusable gadgets, cables, poles, modems etc.

  11. Conan

    Brodacom certainly is not 4G, it’s just plain and simply awful. I got a
    “plug and Go” set from brodacom yesterday, after being promised that i
    would be able to get a good signal in Greendale. got home, plugged the
    device in, waited, waited, waited waited, waited, eventually i got one
    bar on the receiver! so decided to check my e-mail, it took 35 mins to
    download 5mb of data….. wow that is super fast isn’t it Brodacom!!
    what a load of rubbish! I think the old dial up connections were faster.
    I moved the router all over the house, up and down, even at one point
    putting it on the front lawn…. got 2 bars on the receiver, so i
    thought it might be a good position, i got 10kbps… again…shocking!
    in the morning i packed it up and took it to my office in Milton park to
    test it, same things, same disgusting speed! What is wrong with
    Brodacom, stop talking rubbish on your adverts, be honest as to why your
    packages are unlimited…because you don’t have to worry that your
    users will be able to download more than 100 mb every month, cos the
    speed is god awful! I am now waiting to return this piece of crap called
    plug and go! if you want advice do not buy it…buy powertel, africom
    or wait in vain for tel-one adsl…. either way you will be waiting.