ZOL does away with its $29 package

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

zol-ecoweb-dongleRecently local internet service provider ZOL did away with its $29 uncapped internet entry package with the $59 package now being the cheapest broadband option that they offer. The $59 package offers speeds of up to 1 Mbps with unlimited data access. The $29 offering was available on the dongle based mobile WiMAX broadband service that offered speeds of 512 Kbps.

Prior to this adjustment to their product lineup ZOL had the cheapest “unlimited” broadband package available from local internet service providers. The cheapest package is now Powertel’s $35 per month dongle. This “superb deal” comes of course with a huge compromise on the speed of service, something that was also apparent with the retired $29 package from ZOL.

Assuming you’re working on a tight budget, unable to use Powertel’s services in your neighbourhood but still need an internet connection you’d have to go for Tel One’s ADSL option. This $31 option is however capped at 10GB.

According to information sourced from ZOL the dropping of the $29 package has been the only adjustment made to their product suite. Unfortunately ZOL did not provide reasons behind this move. It is not clear how many subscribers were using the package but it is unlikely that ZOL would have made the move before considering how this could alienate a large part of their customer segment.

Despite the unsavoury aspect of removing a cheap uncapped internet option the adjustment does make sense when you consider the service provided by a 512 Kbps connection relative internet usage trends. At such speeds the access to popular uses of data such as video streaming and downloads, which have gained more prominence thanks to social media, is a bumpy experience.

ZOL has been on the offensive regarding the roll-out of fibre services, something which shows a greater concern for quality internet services and the enhanced broadband opportunities over accommodating pricing. The base package for a fibre connection is set at $149 per month which offers speeds of up to 10 Mbps.


  1. Cynz

    I was on the $29 uncapped internet with ZOL and it was a mess!! In fact Zol is mostly a mess with that terrible billing system. My internet was supposed to be prepaid, but it was an account which ZOL charged for even when I didnt pay! Just as well they stopped it coz the dongles themselves were faulty. Worked better in other areas but ZOL didnt bother to tell anyone that!

  2. fourwallsinaroom

    Customers who are subscribed to this have the option to be grandfathered in permanently. This dongle used to be the ecoweb dongle e was $50 a month, which turned into the Econet Broadband 4G dongle at 2.5c per Mbps and then finally ZOL dongle at $59 or $29. I still have my 2.5c package and have never had issues. on the EWZ side

  3. Aspiring 1080p Streamer

    A 5Mbps budget fibre package for $80 would have really hit the spot! But I guess zviroto zviroto

  4. Anonymous

    $31 at 256kbps and 10GB. I think telone could consider raising that speed. $31 for internet at that speed for ADSL looks unreasonable considering the services people are looking forward to on the Web.It is not just a question of availability but quality also and 256kbps is basic browsing

  5. Munyaradzi

    I think it will be prudent if had a comment from ZOL because the article in itself lack balance. Where did you get the information? I am not a ZOL advocate but have been using the WiMax dongle and has worked relatively well for me. Their service has been pathetic though. The challenge is that there is no better package in town for budget people like us! I wish we had competitive ISPs in the country!!

  6. Fed up

    powertel dongo is a disaster especialy in bulawayo the download speeds are ridiculous regardless of the site you are downloading from.it only good for browsing. i guess you just have to pay more for faster speeds.

  7. Jimbo

    Bandwidth is still expensive in Zimbabwe, i don’t think ZOL can guarantee 1Mbps at all times. For students or even most house holds $29 was affordable for basic browsing less the streaming.

  8. Khal Drogo

    At her school library my daughter still uses the $29 per month (Home Lite Subscription) and ZOL hasn’t totally removed it

  9. Denver

    Where is this coming from, you do not mention the source of your information. Techzim, you are a reliable source of information and for you to maintain your respect and position as a leading source of tech news in Zim, you need to prove the source of mention at least have a disclaimer tha “we can not verify the authenticity of this report” (like what CNN, BBC, etc do) .

    I am on this package at home and I am being billed for $29, and their website still advertises the package.

  10. Anonymo

    Techzim I think you need to clarify to the people that we are talking Mbits/s here coz if one looks at these Mbps, one may be forgiven for thinking bytes!! I was hoodwinked myself into subscribing to the $99 package because I do a lot of online stuff and I tell you I HAVE BEEN SHAFTED REAL GOOD by Zol. If you get half the speed when downloading you are damn lucky and that wont last 5 min, worse still on an upload, FORGET it, even at 3am in the morning, it doesn’t help! The one time I had stuff I needed to to download frm a client’s server, fix, and upload and it was 220MB zipped file. It took me almost 2hrs to upload it back and this was from 4am to 6am and this was on an 2Mbps package! Further, I had a problem with my Wimax connection the one time and it took Zol more than 2 weeks to resolve it and one of their techs (they call them engineers and I can bet you my last dollar, that one was no engineer, even a Magaba trained engineer could have given me better service) had the cheek to tell me that I was being “throttled” because my usage was too much! I asked, by my package says UNCAPPED, u know what, he just stammered away without even giving me a proper answer after that. I had to end up demanding to speak to the lady boss in customer services, (the boss to the supervisors who were themselves pathetic) I think Nyasha was her name and she was the one that actually helped me and stuck to her word and that was more than half a month gone into my subscription. In all this mess, I spoke to YoAfrica about fibre and I got an email from a lady in sales called Vongai to say they were gonna contact their fibre providers about giving me a quote and that was the last I hear from them. Interesting…

    1. Anthony Somerset

      EVERY ISP will quote speeds in mb/s while computers will generally read out speads as MB/s this is nothing new to Zimbabwe – every ISP the world over does this exact same thing – its called marketing….

      i should also note that international downloads are just as dependant on the location (and therefore distance) of the remote server and the quality of its network connection (as well as how busy it is)

      i can see varying speeds depending on my target server, eg apple updates going via JHB go exceptionally fast (line speed on good days) however a similar sized microsoft update can sometimes crawl at just a couple hundred KB/s

  11. ZOL Zimbabwe introduces Pay As You Go service with a $9 package – Techzim

    […] ZOL is playing the same game. Besides its use of widespread WiFi hotspots that now have to be paid for, it recently introduced a Pay as You Go service accessible through a dongle. This is not the first time ZOL has had dongles though. The ZOL dongle used to be offered with its old entry level $29 monthly subscription service, but this was retired sometime last year. […]