It delivers, even if the competition seems to deliver too…
If I were to summarize this review with a single phrase, it would be this: buy this as long as you’re eligible, because if you are, then you need this. That’s pretty high praise for a product I know, but it comes from a place of feeling content more than anything else. ZOL’s Wibroniks LTE package isn’t perfect, but it delivers, and it does that so well that you really wonder why it Hadn’t come out a lot earlier.
Now to be straight, we have sort of been reviewing this service from a specific point of view . We aren’t reviewing this plan directly comparing it to ZOL’s traditional Fibroniks and Wibroniks packages, largely due to this package’s barriers for entry and seemingly intended customer base. How does it differ you ask? Well for starters, ZOL is selling this with just the $10 RTGS line, no mobile router/dongle required with the sim card being able to work in most LTE enabled devices that support local signal bands. As for the intended customer base, well with Econet , NetOne and Telecel all increasing their prices on what sometimes seems like a literally weekly basis, ZOL’s intended customer here is well, everyone. Or at least everyone in a Wibroniks supported area (and those do actually keep being expanded as best as possible even in the country’s current predicament). ZOL essentially doesn’t mind if a lot of people dump their traditional mobile data plans and use their services primarily for data, perhaps only alternating back to their Econet or Netone line when they need to call or SMS someone or use specific services like Ecocash. Those with the benefit of dual-sim devices will likely find this easier and of course some of us want to use this as home Wi-Fi solution, meaning you would either need a second device to tether the whole house to, or get a mobile Wi-Fi LTE router , whether you get the RTGS $699 one from ZOL or have one handy already (would I be the only one to find this funny if someone bought a TelOne Blaze router just to put a ZOL line in it?) .
And now that you know how you get the service, how does it actually perform? Well we weren’t able to go around the whole of Harare (let alone Zimbabwe) with it but we did test it in Harare’s Kuwadzana and Belvedere areas, with some commutes to and from the CBD thrown in. And to be honest, the service performs…adequately. I mean it’s largely what you would expect from a ZOL service, impressively fast, mostly reliable and essentially reasonable when it comes to their data tariffs. We probably will put a comparison against traditional ZOL packages as well as competitors like TelOne ADSL and Blaze, but right now all you need to know is that performance is faster than Econet’s LTE data packages, though from what we can tell, not by much. It’s dependability that I would put my money on here, as ZOL tends to hold up better in supported areas even as load shedding occurs (which does still affect the mobile network trio to different extents) so you can stay connected more consistently. As for data tariffs, well a comparison sheet against TelOne’s Blaze is below and you can see that once we start talking about monthly, larger data packages for tethering a few devices TelOne has ZOL beat(which is not really surprising considering they launched Blaze a little later).
|Data package||ZOL LTE price||Telone Blaze price|