By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Last year we ranked it the worst internet dongle ever to hit the market under both the CDMA and GSM based technology facing serious billing issues plus non connectivity but it seems the team has sat back to create a working product for the broadband hungry market and their new interconnecting IP based voice calls at 6cents.Powertel, a ZESA subsidiary and Internet Access Provider previously had tried to run under the unlimited tag banner which caused serious congestion, crippling their network until last year they introduced usage based charges, giving a new face to the brand.
It’s been a month now since we bought the new dongle, we have done our speed and strain tests and we can safely say it is now a must for everyone who needs good mobile broadband on the go!
Powertel dongle is now currently the fastest on the market, and well priced too to get you going throughout the whole day. On their current promotion, They are currently offering a 100% promotion on their data getting double per every package you buy.
For example their 1g is priced at $23 but upon purchase your account will be credited with a 2g total while the entry package is actually as small as $1.50 for 50mb and you still get 100mb as per bonus promotion.
Backed by their fibre optic last mile, the new Powertel dongle is reaching an all time high of slightly plus or minus 1mb/s download while their upload fares around 400kbps which makes it a super fast dongle on the go to help your surf, download and upload without glitches.
The same however cannot be said to other area outside Harare CBD as we noticed a dip in speed depending on their network availability and how far you are located to their nearest Wimax base station or line of sight.
According to their Network coverage map, Powertel can only guarantee connectivity to the areas marked good with 4 or 5 bars and ok with only 3bars. Other areas outside these perimeters are actually receiving a good signal which can still get you on the go, but Powertel says they will not guarantee any connectivity in those areas.
Their major competitor on the same package that is CDMA based technology commonly transmitted as Wimax signal by all Zimbabwe operators is Africom, ZOL, and Iway Africa.
Africom dongle has been going through its difficulties with intermittent connectivity and no real growth outside its traditional mapping though their pricing is still attractive, connectivity is not guaranteed. Africom current promo of $10 gives you two weeks of unlimited access but with controlled downloads
Zol Dongle banged in handy, best priced and unlimited data but the brand seems to have discontinued the supply as they have become scarce. They offered $29 per month unlimited or 2.5cents per mb inherited from Ecoweb changed it to $39 before they simply ditched the product amid poor connectivity reports.
IwayAfrica came in strong with pocket rocket and knocked itself out in weeks amid reports that it could not settle a good deal with a last mile provider.
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