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.