Why you can’t buy a TelOne Blaze LTE sim card right now

Edwin Chabuka Avatar

TelOne has been offering LTE since 2019 and because LTE uses sim cards, everyone saw it and still sees it as a way of getting more affordable mobile data. The only problem is that the sim cards are nowhere to be found. And it’s a bit of a cocktail of reasons.

So first off, Telone’s LTE coverage is in some parts of Harare and Chitungwiza and nowhere else. So it’s VERY limited if your idea was to be using this service on your phone when you are out and about. Even more so for interested customers living outside of Harare and Chitungwiza.

The second thing to note is that the sim cards are geo-locked to the address you use when you register the line. So if you manage to get one, you won’t be able to use it outside your neighborhood. The primary reason is to manage traffic on each base station providing the service so that the speeds remain decent for subscribers connected to it. I made a more in-depth video on geolocking that you can check out here.

The third one is that TelOne’s LTE service was being put up in areas with ADSL as a way of providing a more reliable service to ADSL customers that is cheaper and quicker to set up than laying fiber.

However, the biggest reason stopping TelOne from taking up new LTE subscribers is capacity. The network is now at capacity and no new Blaze LTE customers are being registered. There is no word yet on whether they will be adding more capacity to the service or even expanding it to other parts of the country. So if you have a Blaze sim you might want to take excellent care of it because you may not be able to replace it. And if you are looking for a Blaze sim card you will not be getting one from any Telone shop anytime soon.

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18 comments

What’s your take?

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  1. Pauline Kanengoni

    I think they forgot to geolock mine because i stay in Highlands but it still works when i visit Sunningdale,avondale e.t.c

    1. TelOne

      Now that you have mentioned it we will see you it that it is geolocked

      1. Not Telone

        Hahahaha this is funny

  2. The Empress

    It seems to me that Blaze was poorly thought out from the start. It might have been a kneejerk reaction to the launch of ZOL (now LIQUID) Wibroniks nd now the only reason that the powers that be at Telone haven’t shut it down is because they are too embarrased call time of death on Blaze after the big song and dance they made when Blaze was introduced as a possible competitor to Wibroniks, which is now operating on a nationwide scale compared to Blaze that failed takeoff.
    Although to be fair Wibroniks is now facing similar problems capacity wise as Blaze but the scale is completely different.
    Does anyone have an idea how they compare on the number of subscribers?

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      I don’t think Blaze has failed, because evidently there is quite some demand for it. I think they might have supply chain issues, or as is usually the case with quasi-parastatals: they have to purchase from a certain supplier (when better suppliers exist) and that person is the one who has muddled up their stock availability.

      1. The Empress

        I would normally aggree with you but not this time cos Blaze after all these years still hasn’t managed to breakout of the two cities nd go nationwide, they haven’t even managed to dominate those two cities by expanding their coverage they are basically still at the starting line.
        Unless you are saying we treat the stuff that Blaze has done so far as market research into a potential full product launch?
        If that’s the case then Blaze hasn’t failed….. 😏

        1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

          Covid started just after they launched, so there’s that. But, from last year, they seem to be building momentum of sorts.

          1. The Empress

            Yah no I don’t believe it… The last official statement from Blaze was about them slowly releasing a few sim cards in Chitungwiza in a reply to a question (Facebook) last year in May 2022 on Twitter it’s the same thing.
            So what momentum are we talking about here? I sincerely believe that the powers that be at Telone have no idea or plan on the way forward about Blaze so they are leaving it on life support just doing basic care and maintenance.
            The BLAZE-ing fire they once imagined fizzled out nd is now an embarrassing memory.
            There must come a time when we stop blaming covid 19 for the various problems in this country…or in some cases outright incompetence.

      2. Aka Pelez

        I want to say any sim pack that you buy must be replaced in case you lost it or it’s damaged ,I purchased one in Borrowdale but I lost it due to cell phone theft so I’m already a subscriber my SIM may be replaced

  3. The Empress

    Completely off topic
    Can you guys please do a hands on review of the recently released new Tecno Spark 10 series of phones.
    With emphasis on the quality of reception on the various networks ie. Liquid(zol), Blaze, Econet, Netone nd Telecel(😄).
    Performance… Do they drag or fly
    And any other stuff you find interesting about the phones

  4. Hugh Jarse

    Those SIM cards are not the only thing in short supply in Zimbabwe! Fuel, electricity, mobile signal, working landline, et al, are also on that list! You also need to remember that telone will over-subscribe the service, and render it inoperable, out of greed and incompetence! It’s a parastatal, which translates to “owned and operated”, by the very lot you citizens have been stupid enough to keep in power, namely zanu-pf! The PTC’s, successor Tel-one, are still staffed by incompetents, who have rarely resolved a fault within 24 hours, or less, as has been the case since the 1980’s, and will have lost competent staff, to greener pastures! I’m also leaving in 7 weeks time, as I know that this service, along with everything else, will NEVER improve, due to government incompetence and voter stupidity!

  5. Hooking Fell

    Um, that’s the easiest question to answer! Remember Tel-one, ex PTC, was split, and Net-One, and Tel-One became separate entities, but both were still staffed by incompetents, with some
    moved from one to the other! Yes. both are “owned” and operated, by the same incompetent lot you keep voting for: ZPF, but that’s YOUR problem! I’m also 1,000 percent certain,

  6. Tina

    What about network speed? I heard someone saying it’s as if you are using 2g network.

  7. My Name Is

    Isn’t it that these Blaze sim cards have been out of stick since 2019? Are they ever gonna be available or zvakatofa zvakadaro

  8. CyberHero

    I have a question. Why do Telone people take their time to set up ADSL. You go like today they say ok we will come. They go even a month or 2 you go n remind them they say ok. But they don’t come at all, they behave like they dont need to expand their customer base or need the money. My friend had to pull some connections in Telone so that they may have ADSL set up. What’s up with that?

    1. The Empress

      You asked a question and then answered it yourself.
      For those who are still confused let me explain further.
      This is (Sparta!) Zimbabwe where the rule of law is nothing but a fiction we tell children and the naive.
      In Zimbabwe it’s now all about which bigshot you know or whether you can pay an appreciation fee.

  9. Cde che

    I think telone has failed with it’s blaze product. 1- it’s out of stock for more than four years. 2- it’s network is confined to a small place in the whole of Zimbabwe ( Harare and chitungwiza). 3- it’s geolocked in this age we shouldn’t have geolocked sim cards it means that they have not invested in base stations.

  10. Anon

    Can they sell some of the copper and buy the sim card