NetOne applies for datacasting licence

Nigel Gambanga Avatar


According to a notice in the Herald, state-owned mobile network operator Netone has applied for a national datacasting licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.The datacasting licence is one of ten broadcasting licences offered by the regulator.

Datacasting, or the broadcast of data, is a service that delivers information via radio waves in varied forms which include text, data, speeches and images to any receiver or equipment that can accept or process the information.

It usually works in the distribution on topical information in fields that can be as varied as traffic updates, weather, health, education and even retailing.

This looks like part of Netone’s efforts at improving their performance by providing a wider range of product services. Currently every network operator needs to and has been making attempts at expanding its product range beyond the declining voice call offering.

NetOne’s two competitors Econet and Telecel have been aggressively pushing data centric OTT services that include WhatsApp bundles and different Facebook promotions, lines of service which NetOne hasn’t offered on its own network.  It has however been engaged in mobile money services which have provided a healthy revenue stream for local telecoms.

NetOne is likely to be leaning on its relationships with Chinese hardware and telecoms infrastructure giants Huawei in the roll out of this service.Huawei is already tapped to pick up Netone’s $218 million broadband expansion project which will focus on equipment upgrade and LTE service provision.



  1. Raymond Swart

    I will be honest and say I tried a NetOne dongle the other day and was completely blown away by how easy it was to setup, (all browser based settings, even worked on Ubuntu out of the box) and the speeds where close on 3MB/s. I’m sure the speeds where because I was the only one on the network but still very impressed with the installation and speeds!

    If they can scale that up while being competitive in pricing watch out other mobile data service providers!

    1. Maxwell Christian

      I can confirm the speed is excellent, but I moved away from NetOne last quarter of 2013 because the price is just horrendous. I can’t be spending $5 for about 120 or so MB when I can have unlimited downloads on PowerTel for a $1.20 (after hours of course, as it is terribly slow during the day).

      1. Maxwell Christian

        Can somebody advise Net One that their DATA BUNDLES are too expensive, maybe that explains why the speeds are phenomenally high as very few people use them. The NetOne Data Bundle prices are as follows: $3=70mb, $5=125mb, $10=285mb, $20=670mb, $30=1gig & $50=2gig.
        With Powertel, after hours or on weekends I can download over 2gig for $1.20.
        Its unfortunate that NetOne responds to market trends at a monolithic rate.

  2. taraz

    “It has however been engaged in mobile money services which have provided a healthy revenue stream for local telecoms.”Really? According to recent media reports NetOne realised a mere US$1 100 in 2012, the first year, in its One-Wallet project after investing US$226 000 in the business, a mere 0,005 percent return.