It is being reported that TelOne is unveiling Blaze which is a wireless internet service package. This will basically involve the use of LTE connections for internet connectivity. In simple terms, long-term evolution (LTE) refers to a 4G-based mobile communication standard. LTE is a cheaper alternative to fibre-based connectivity that tends to be too expensive for most Zimbabweans. This will be offered with 2 options for consumers to choose from. The first option will be through modems installable indoors whilst the second one will be a portable Wi-Fi device (Mi-Fi). If you are aware of the Wibroniks packages then you will know Blaze is going to contend with them. It has been indicated that Blaze will uniquely include talk time in their packages something that Wibroniks does not have.
It is said that the service will entail internet speeds of as much as 15 Mbps (megabytes per second). The crux of this service is to offer consumers an option that can provide better tariffs than the usual mobile data packages. The service can now be purchased and only covers limited areas so far. Some of the areas currently covered right now are Borrowdale, Avondale, Malborough, Mt Pleasant, Ruwa, Westgate, Budiriro, Glenview, Kuwadzana, Southerton and Chitungwiza. Do take note that it is not these areas in their entirety but some selected areas.
It is reported that TelOne plans on rolling out the service to the rest of the country throughout the coming year. Those interested can visit TelOne shops to get more details and even get the service. The indoor modem will cost ZWL$472 whilst the Mi-Fi will cost ZWL$333. The cost of the line (as in, SIM card) will be ZWL$10 and will offer the pre-existing packages to pick from. As I earlier on mentioned there will be talk time i.e. VoIP for the indoor modem. VoIP standing for voice over internet protocol refers to a system that facilitates the making of voice calls using an internet connection. The talk-time packages will also include free on-net calls plus bonus local talk time.
The LTE Blaze vouchers can now be purchased as I noticed on the payments portal, Paynow. There is Blaze Lite costing ZWL$54, Blaze Xtra costing ZWL$82, Blaze Boost costing ZWL$102, Blaze Ultra costing ZWL$165, Blaze Trailblazer costing ZWL$248 and Blaze Supernova costing ZWL$489. It seems TelOne has not yet officially made a statement regarding the Blaze rollout so I am not quite sure how much data will be available under these packages. In the meantime, I am sure if you visit a TelOne shop you will get more comprehensive information on this.
Competition Is Good
I must say it is refreshing to see more players entering the internet services domain. We will definitely need to see more players other than TelOne but so far TelOne is doing quite well. The existence of more players will broaden the range of choices that consumers can pick from. Competition, if it gets quite stiff, also ends up pushing prices down which plays out well for the consumers. We are living in a world where being online is now too imperative.
Business operations must tap into the power of the internet and social media and this can only happen with flexible and affordable options for internet access. We greatly anticipate that TelOne will roll out the Blaze service swiftly to all parts of the country. This will really bring in that much needed competition in the internet service providers space. I believe TelOne has what it takes to become a serious contender in this space. At my church we usually live stream global services such as communion services and we use TelOne. We always go through services that can last more than 2 hours with smooth and uninterrupted connectivity. The customer support team always responds promptly whenever we need their assistance. That is why I am rooting for them to strive for national dominance so that we have a pool of options to pick from.
The Zimbabwean economy is going through serious challenges and that is a given. However, on a good note that is also orchestrating the right conditions to birth innovation in some areas. This should be the approach of any local service providers or businesses in general. It is always calm in the eye of the storm so take time to explore ways in which you can innovate. Remember entrepreneurship is basically about noting societal needs and coming up with solutions that can be monetized. There are countless societal needs right now so capitalize on them.