Data Too Expensive? Get 5 Hours Free WiFi Per Day – Poshto

Tinashe Nyahasha Avatar

Is mobile data expensive in Zimbabwe? That’s a very difficult question to answer and it can become near political too. However, what we can confidently call fact is that mobile data is not affordable to the majority of us.

Whether the MNO’s are charging fairly or even below what would be considered fair is not important, what’s important is that we can’t afford what they are selling as much as we used to.

And then there was public WiFi

At a time when so many folks can’t even afford WhatsApp access, WiFi hot spots have become such life lines. Connectivity companies like ZOL and TelOne have been offering these in the major centres in our cities. However, what they offer is barely adequate for our levels of addiction to the internet. ZOL hot spots for example are now offering free 30 minutes of access per day. To be honest this is quite generous given the state of our economy but that doesn’t make it adequate.

What if you could get 5 hours?

What would you do with 5 hours of unlimited internet? I would blog, my wife would feast on baking videos, you?

Poshto is a public WiFi service that’s offering exactly that. You can enjoy up to 5 hours of free WiFi at their hot spots around Harare and soon around other cities and towns in Zim too.

What’s the catch?

Even free stuff costs money right? How then is Poshto affording this? Of course they make you pay somehow, question is how… Their model is based on proximity advertising. Yea of course! Almost everything that’s free on the internet is supported by ad money including yours truly.

But ads can be annoying

First, beggars ain’t choosers… To be less harsh though, if adverts are managed well they are not as annoying and can in fact be positive to user experience. Think about magazines for example: a magazine without elaborate artistic adverts is boring. How will Poshto adverts work?

The Poshto team promises that they will show you one advert when you sign into a hot spot. You have to sign up very hour though. If you are going to spend 5 hours straight uri pa poshto for example it means you are going to view ads 5 times. That doesn’t sound like too high a price to pay.

If all goes well Poshto plans to make these ads highly targeted. They will use details they collect when you log in including your location to serve you ads that are as relevant to you as they can make them. If there is a sale in a store close to you for example this could be something you actually want to know about: that’s proximity marketing for you.

Who are these guys?

Poshto is a collaboration between Contitouch an internet service provider (ISP) and a digital advertising agency called The Residence. Both these companies are members of the Hammer and Tongues Group.

Their relationship with the Hammer and Tongues Group means they already have their first and big customer for the adverts. Brands such as Africa Bet, Africa Lotto and Hammer and Tongues Auctioneers are all mass brands that are good customers to the advertising platform.

Where’s Poshto?

Poshto is already available at 66 outlets and their network is growing. Right now you can find them at a number of OK Supermarkets, Bon Mache Supermarkets, Africa Bet spots as well as major bus pick up points like Charge Office and 4th Street.

They have also signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health to make free public WiFi available at clinics and hospitals in urban and rural centres. So far they are at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

We hope they will keep their promise and not make the ads annoying and also keep offering 5 hours or even more. The internet is a great resource that could really make a difference in these trying times.


What’s your take?

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  1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Like all noble ideas, there are side-effects. This is going to create a massive amount of loitering in those areas. Compounded by those with ill-intentions also hiding themselves within those crowds.


    I agree, it’s too political for real. The operating environment is not conducive for these Telcos to operate. Imagine running generators for 18 hours and you still want to provide excellent service to all your customers all over. Eish. Pakaipa wangu. Hope this country will heal sooner than Better.

    1. Cool-Head

      Best way to is to be more innovative than mourning, if one wants to survive the Zim turbulent cycles… For example, why do

      1) MNOs not power their base stations from high cycle, solar-and-mains charged back-up batteries, the installation of which will be protected by a diamond fence juiced with high voltage, sourced from the very same backup batteries? Maintenance personnel can get safe access to it by deactivating the high voltage via a remote control…

      Of course, such installations must be placed well away from children n wild animals, with suitable danger warning signs in place…

      2) Individuals not get a reliable high capacity power bank, or even a 6V lead-acid battery to juice their phones?

      Necessity is the mother of all inventions – the white man realised that to survive, they had to go out , find whatever they wanted, n conquer whatever was in the way…

      1. loice

        Is high powered solar systems sustainable for 18 hours? This o itself is more costly than anything else. If they are using Electricity more than Solar in their countries to sustain more critical area of industry. We must learn from them also.

      2. Andrew Mutambara

        During blackouts, mobile operators need to resort to backup power generators, which makes their services much more expensive to provide. High transaction fees and a government tax all increase the difficulties facing users. had u though of this. The GVT will cheap in again and tax these companies more if they choose to go the solar way. It’s the way this country is being run only. Look at how companies like Econet were fought when they tried to introduce the Kwese issue here. The challenge remains with our leaders who have chosen to manipulate every sector with their poor policies. There has to be trust and investment confidence otherwise it will not work. Simple

  3. Wilson Macheka

    But your analysis conflicts much with real statistics on the ground! Zimbabwe ranks 3rd amongst the lowest priced data tariffs in Africa, but unfortunately millions can no longer afford this service due to the weakening value of the local currency against other countries. Zimbabwe only trails behind Malawi & Nigeria in data which is charging $0,0041 and $0.0028 for a Megabyte in USD price. All other African countries are actually charging way much more.

    1. Cool-Head

      Comparisons of absolute data cost/Mb, without linking it to the net average per Capita Income, is a useless exercise for me…

    2. Tinashe Nyahasha

      What analysis are you referring to?

      No doubt the issue of data pricing in Zim is an affordability issue and affordability has nothing to do with business viability of service providers. They are in a tight spot and sorry them. However, even if prices would go up, not much would change or their circumstances will get worse because consumers are failing to afford even now.

      However, this is an article about a public WiFi service and not about MNO unit economics

  4. Tarisai Hamadziripi

    Check a recent Post on this link .zw/2019/09/03/zim-mobile-tariffs-still-the-lowest-but-we-can-no-longer-afford/ for a well researched and articulated article on Data. You can get more facts there. Maybe if we can also compare with other other regions without quickly introducing another product/ platform in the subject matter then we will be in a position to make concrete conclusions.

  5. Henrick Hwata

    From another perspective, look kaa, the real pressures that are driving costs 2 the communication sector are many here in our Nation. Data is imported at a certain cost to land in Zimbabwe & if we are still to have connectivity, these costs are unfortunately inevitable. Imagine charging in RTGS whilst the costs is in US dollars lol