Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Zantel ups the stakes with new mobile data service

[Dar es Salaam, Tanzania]
EVERYWHERE you go in Dar, you see Zantel's snazzy new ads for its supposedly speedy mobile CDMA wireless service offering. Oh, I looove the kool green colours in their newspaper ads, too. It's got me so pumped up to get on board the Z data train, and I haven't even tried the damn service yet. :-) Now, being a nosey consumer who's always on the lookout for better (er cheaper) ISP deals in these parts, I just had to call them up to get the scoop on their Z-Connect service. See the ad below! So, what's the scoop? I thought you'd never ask.

The scoop:
Coverage? All of Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar & Pemba islands right now, and the entire country by the end of 2007
Price? Just top up in TSh 5000 ($4) or TSh 10,000 ($8) increments = TSh 56 per Megabyte = KSh 3.2 per Megabyte
Modem price? CDMA USB modem is TSh 150,000 ($118)
Download capacity? 90 Megabytes worth of data for every TSh 5000
Speed? 153 Kbps to 2 Mbps depending on the device used
Technology? CDMA 1X and
EVDO, always on, high speed packet data network

Final thoughts:
By the way, I truly believe that CDMA/EVDO is vastly superior to the EDGE/GPRS service that Celtel and Safaricom (KSh 10 per Megabyte) are offering in terms of data broadcasting. All I can say is this: "Celtel, watch out for the big Z!" :-) As you can see, this is a great Go Africa go! story because the inclusion of yet another mobile wireless Internet competitor means lower prices, which translates into peeps actually getting down to some serious business. In other words, a heck of a lot more businessmen and businesswomen are going to be more efficient and effective as they go about their daily activities. The word on the street is that Zantel is well regarded as the mobile company with the lowest prices. You don't believe me? Well take a peek
here! Oh, I'm supposed to go to Zantel's office today or tomorrow to take Z-Connect for a spin. I'll highlight my thoughts here.

One other observation. Internet access rates are a heck of a lot cheaper in Tanzania than its neighbour to the North (Kenya). What the heck is up with outrageous ISP fees in Kenya? I thought they were supposed to be more advanced and waaaay ahead of everyone in these parts. But I feel that's what happens when a monopoly like Telkom Kenya gets too much protection from the government for a very long time. Now it's making Internet services too costly over there. Let's just say I know people who pay $120/month for a 128K shared wireless broadband solution from Africa Online. Holy crap! With TTCL, you could get their blazing-fast ADSL service (2 Mbps down, 512Kbps up) at home for a paltry sum of TSh 40 per Megabyte (or TSh 40,000 per Gigabyte of download). Heck, you can't even get those speeds from Telkom Kenya. In general, I hate telecom companies, but TTCL is not bad at all.

Newspaper ad:
Introducing Z-Connect; the fastest, most affordable, continuous high-speed mobile data network in Tanzania. Just install it in minutes, load prepaid airtime and start working, surfing or downloading in seconds. For instance, you'll be able to download a 3 Mega Byte music track in 20 seconds, or open the average webmail or website in 7 seconds. And it's mobile, you can do all of this anywhere, anytime. Now available in Dar es Salaam, and contrywide in late 2007.
For more information and the location of your nearest Z dealer, call 077 600 6000 or email

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Max thank you for the info on this mobile service,
Am looking for something like this.
When will you ad the review?