Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network, Econet Wireless, has introduced cheaper bundles for students in the country to be able to participate in e-learning.
The move follows an outcry after Econet hiked data prices on 5 May 2020. Econet sent out a letter to schools, inviting them to apply for the discounted data bundles.
Here is a table showing the Student E-Learning Data Bundles:
|Bundle Name||Amount of Data||Price||Validity|
|10GB Bulk||10240MB||$200||30 Days|
|20GB Bulk||20480MB||$350||30 Days|
Conditions for using E-Learning Data Bundles
- It applies for at least fifty (50) mobile numbers (students/teachers).
- Each school will pay on behalf of its students/teachers/employees and will then collect money from parents or SDAs.
- The school provides mobile phone numbers to be credited with the data bundles to Econet.
Our Quick Assessment
Our assessment is that Econet is trying to avoid ordinary people taking advantage of and using the bundles for non-school purposes. This is why the company is putting the requirement that it only deals with schools and not parents.
However, this means that smaller private schools will not be able to access discounted data bundles. In high-density suburbs, especially those in Harare, low-income private schools with a small student count are quite plentiful.
While Econet has tried to make the pricing competitive, the discount is not nearly enough considering that parents are already struggling under and economic depression made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
On a per MB price basis, Econet’s discounted $200 option for 10GB is actually more expensive than NetOne’s current One-Fi bundle price for 25GB ($400). Important to however that NetOne announced an impending price hike on 5 May, which is yet to be effected.
You can read/download a PDF copy of Econet’s offer letter to schools here.
We expect other mobile operators (NetOne and Telecel) and even the fixed operators (Liquid, ZOL, TelOne, Africom, Powertel, and Utande) to also announce some discounted products in the coming days.