NetOne 3G ready for launch

By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe

State-owned mobile operator NetOne says it is ready to launch its 3G mobile broadband services commercially after successfully completing tests.

It joins rivals Econet and Telecel Zimbabwe, the local unit of Orascom Holdings International, in offering such service.

Early this week, NetOne started sending SMS messages notifying its subscribers that the testing period for the broadband was over and they had to start paying for the mobile broadband.

“Harare Internet tests end 09/10/11. Pay USD40 monthly for unlimited access,” read the SMS.

The price of USD40 per month for unlimited bandwidth would make NetOne the lowest priced locally.

Telecel and Econet charge USD0.11 and USD0.10 per megabyte respectively.

However, the message suggests that only Harare is covered by the broadband map.

NetOne has the largest network coverage nationally, but has suffered from poor infrastructure investment and maintenance.

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