Econet Mobile WiMax reappears with new pricing. Declares war on competition

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

Recently, Econet announced via print press adverts a slash of the 4G Mobile WiMax service prices and a return of the Mobile WiMax dongle that hasn’t been on the shelve since a while ago. The slash is quite significant and outright makes redundant the need for a 3G dongle. For US$45 dollars you can purchase a ZTE TU25 Mobile WiMax dongle and be charged just US2.5c per megabyte for Internet. To understand just how big the price slash is, consider that the same dongle used to cost a staggering $175 just two years ago and the price per megabyte was 15 cents just weeks ago (and is still shown as such on their site)

The 4G Mobile WiMax service was first unveiled back in April 2010 by an Econet subsidiary called Ecoweb. It was a neat new technology promising a revolutionary way of accessing the internet and access speeds that would change the game. In a market where more than 90% of the internet connections were fixed broadband, the prospects looked game changing. But the price tag was too steep for the average customer, and for the market, felt way ahead of its time. Needless to say, only the moneyed few bought it.

Eventually, after 5 months, Ecoweb suspended selling the service. The group favoured the 3G service that Econet would introduce shortly and the plan was to integrate Mobile WiMax services with the new converged Internet the whole group would offer. The Mobile WiMax dongle disappeared completely from the shelves however and in its place came an indoor WiMax unit sold under the @Home and @Work packages, which are basically not mobile in the true sense of the term.

We’re getting that the price revision doesn’t affect the 3G On the Go service, which for the meantime remains priced at an average 10 cents in bundle and a now quite ridiculous 15 cents out of bundle. Telecel’s 3G, and NetOne’s for that matter, remain more attractive than this. For now.

Before this price slash, if you had the slightest idea what Econet’s competition were charging for mobile broadband, we’d be surprised to see you buying from Econet. This new development changes everything. Though not offering a flat monthly fee that the ISPs are touting lately or the very low price tag that the TelOne ADSL carries, Econet’s expansive and solid network carries a promise of high quality stable internet in more locations than any other competitor can offer and the competitive price so far beats the competition hands down.

Of course the price slash is timed to kill the hype that’s been generated by recent product launches and price slashes by fellow mobile operators. It flies in the face of Utande’s recent WiMax launch. Save for overall service quality, it’ll be difficult for Utande to compete on the two fronts of device and bandwidth price.

This. Changes. Everything. Hello broadband pricing phase 2.


  1. Magneto

    He he he he he he let the price-slashing games begin….!

  2. Raymond Swart

    uMax on their top package still works out at 0.0195 /MB compared to Econet’s 0.025 /MB might seem small but like fuel adds up.

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      very great indeed to see competition heating up like so. very exciting!
      If you’re talking about the monsterMax package we calculated $240/12GB and got 2 cents. Which, yes, is cheaper, but one needs to shell out $240 to access the deal. Afraid this will exclude a significant number of people in a certain income bracket from even considering it. Me included.

      1. M Murenzvi

        I still see Africom topping the charts on deals on this one. It’s a pity that they don’t advertise their bundles more prominently

  3. Critq

    Why they are not slashing the prices for their 3G makes the whole thing suspicious…Isnt it the want us to leave our 3G edge cards and purchase these 4G? In all fairness they should take back their 3G and replace with these 4G free of charge!

  4. mr man

    Powertel should join the price slash game considering their poor services and extremely unreliable slow internet services.Go Powertel Go

    1. Powertel Victim

      Haha I totally agree!…Its a sunday morning and it still took me 5 refreshes just to load this page!

  5. lurker133

    Is the coverage the same as their phone network coverage? Because if it is, I think this is a total win for econet!

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      Not sure about current coverage but should be much more than their competitors considering the coverage they had back in May 2010

  6. henry

    is it true that Econet is offering 4G technology/standard. the service provider should tell its clients the truth about these generation technologies.

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      Just for the record, they are not referring to it as 4G in the adverts. it’s mobile WiMax, there reference to 4G here is to distinguish the access device’s technology and and not any implication of performance.

  7. tatenda dzumbira

    Wow I’m one person who greatly received this piece of news and yes I say bring it on guys let the fittest survive.. Basically wat this means is 1Gb will cost $25, am I correct??

    1. M Murenzvi

      Thank you Tatenda! The marketing gimmick here is to draw people’s attention torwards the per MB price and away from the fact that it’s a touch more expensive than Africom’s 1GB service. Also, the higher bandwidth bundles offered by Africom/uMax/etc make for even lower prices. I’ll have to wait for the quality of service report before I even consider biting onto this hook.

  8. KuraiMGT

    Are we reaching market saturation point? Seems the service providers are starting to cannibalise each other kikikikikiki

  9. sinclair

    am still trying to find this ad and (for once) going thru the paper editions of our “newspapers” every day but no luck. What are/were the more exact details, packages and so on?

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      Here’s a photo of the ad. click image for higher res.

  10. fungaizw

    Well at $75 it is the same as Telecel $75 3Gig but thank god the gloves are finally coming off.Just wondering how good it is because telecel has been brilliant with Skype unlike Econet but all the same looks like sanity is coming to the pricing market hopefully many will be able to access the internet And Zimbabwe throws away it’s “third most expensive Telecoms charges title”

  11. tinm@n

    This is all good for us, the consumers at the end of the day. If Telone upped its game, they would make their fixed-line registration service more efficient. As it stands, ADSL is not very disappointing and is probably the most affordable.

    People are hungry for data. make money!

    1. sinclair

      Sadly TelOne is the “mother of all bureaucracies”. Our line is not in our name (and how common is not that) but can not be changed until the debt on the existing name is cleared. So I suggested we make an instalment plan and after first payment change and we apply/pay/get ADSL. Nope. All or nothing. Now that is how you do NOT get new clients

    2. pawnd

      think telone needs to do it the way os south africa wireless adsl for it to expand meaningfully to more of the everyday people and econet still charges the same as africom so telone still better

  12. wankietech

    the prices must come down!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Tendai Marengereke

    i’m using this service. good speeds. awesome, can’t complain.

  14. stiil the same

    2.5c = $25 a gigh still the same as powertel nothing revolutionary except econet is offering prices that make sense.
    have to give econet marketing and their agent props for such innovative marketing

  15. sonny

    tu25 access card is not compatible with windows 8? is there a patch o how can i run the access card on windows 8..