It’s not exactly a bummer, but it’s not fun either
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve unfortunately had a past of using a lot of public Wi-Fi hotspots, most notably, Zol’s Zolspots which have done everything for me from checking up on social media to downloading some series. However as helpful as ZolSpots have been for me, it seems Econet is using its conglomerate power again to essentially use one subsidiary’s infrastructure to promote another, as most ZolSpots seem to no longer work and instead if you want some free Liquid-powered internet, you’ll have to sign up to Econet’s newest Wi-Fi spot: the Sasai Wi-Fi Finder Hotspot.
The new Wi-Fi spot requires signing up for (or for the free Wi-Fi? The two seem to be the same) and after entering some pretty weird details (why does Sasai need my national ID) it seems you’ll be able to access the Wi-Fi spot. The hotspot also requires you get the Sasai app and of course that puts its whole focus into motion: more Sasai promotion. At this rate we really don’t know what we can say about this. Econet obviously needs Sasai to become a much bigger thing than it is but that still seems like a lofty goal. After all the only other thing Econet could do to displace the product’s biggest obstacle WhatsApp would be to uncompetitively price WhatsApp bundles compared to Sasai ones, and even they can’t do that because NetOne and Telecel could at least regain some users based on that. A better obstacle probably would have been leveraging more of the app’s TeamTalk feature, maybe creating ads where it shows off more video calls (we are in a pandemic after all) or even push Zimbabweans in the diaspora towards Sasai as the de facto messaging service for Zim, which would at the very least push their relatives back home to use it more. Instead they’ve seemingly killed a popular free hotspot for a slightly less user friendly one, while also doing it in the middle of a pandemic where no one is really walking around looking for free Wi-Fi. But hey perhaps Econet knows something we don’t and we’ll just see if Sasai usage increases because of the Wi-fi spots. For now though, the ZolSpot is dead, long live the Sasai Wifi Finder.