Local journalist Tichaona Zindoga this afternoon made a fascinating claim on Twitter. He said, in a 4 part tweet, that Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is disabling the hotspot or tethering function on their customers’ phones to encourage the purchase of the recently launched 4G MiFi Smart Kambudzi.
Robbery…— Tichaona Zindoga (@TichZindoga) July 8, 2021
So, @econetzimbabwe has decided to disable people’s gadgets from tethering or using multiple devices on their “wifi bundle” apparently because they want consumers to buy kambudzi mifi at over US$50 which they allow to tether. Truly shameful, criminal and immoral 1/4 pic.twitter.com/5AAkpAcWm3
Tethering or creating a hotspot is when you allow devices around you to use the data bundle on a device capable of the function.
Now, as far as we know, there is no way that a mobile network operator can disable the hotspot function on a device. The ability to do that is buried within each individual phone’s system. For Econet to inhibit customers from creating hotspots, I imagine it would require methods that would breach a number of local and international laws.
In response to this, Econet Group Media and Corporate Communications Executive, Fungai Mandiveyi, said:
“The reports are unfounded and completely untrue. We have not ‘disabled’ customers ability to tether, and we have no capacity to do so. As a digital service provider, we want more customers – not less – to use data and to enjoy our digital services, and therefore we have no interest in stopping people from tethering”
On that note, you should check if your device can create a hotspot. Usually the setting is easily accessible on devices that have the feature.