NetOne close to 3G launch


Zimbabwean technology journal Techzim reports that state-run GSM network operator NetOne has notified 3G test users that they will soon have to pay for mobile broadband access. An SMS message told test participants that ‘unlimited’ internet access will be charged at USD40 per month.

Techzim notes that local cellular market leader Econet Wireless currently charges users of its commercial 3G/2.5G mobile internet service an average of USD0.10 per 1MB depending on the data bundle, while NetOne’s other rival Telecel Zimbabwe has set its mobile internet rate at USD0.11 per 1MB; neither cellco plans to offer unlimited data packages.

However, Techzim also points out that NetOne’s uncapped internet usage ‘offer’ may simply be a result of it lacking the facilities to bill customers for their high speed data usage, in which case it is likely to switch to volume-based data charging once the necessary billing system is in place.