Is Zimbabwe Online getting nervous over Econet’s promised 3G?
Wouldn’t blame them. They’ve never come up against competition this big before. In fact they’ve had it pretty easy up until now and they’ve done well with their Zolspot (hot spots) expansion. Still the arrival of 3G technology, though delayed is imminent and ZOL has a fight on their hands.
In a recent email broad cast to over 10 000 people, they made their first move – a good one too. Their headline…
“Stop Waiting For Promised 3G…”
Want to read ZOL’s Advert? Email email@example.com with the subject line ‘ZOL Advert’ and I’ll send it to you.
They explained that WIFI is faster and available right now. The logic is, why wait for something that may ‘never’ come when you can get connected today? ZOL went even further by offering a great package too;
- 70% discount for a full GB of WiFi Access.
- 30 minutes of free surf time a day
- 50% discount rates during off peak hours
All for just $30. If you use WiFi a lot you’d be crazy to ignore it.
None of this would mean as much if not for the timing – just under 2 weeks before Econet’s promised release for new 3G availability. It’s obviously an attempt to lessen the effect and significance of Econet’s launch. A great ad, a great offer…but alas, it’s far from enough.
Is this the End of ZOL?
Econet, already a formidable adversary (ask Netone) is only the start of ZOL’s problems. Telecel isn’t far behind and even Netone is on the way with 3G too. All this represents a significant chunk of the customer base ZOL has currently – and we haven’t even talked about Econet ‘s Fibre optic project yet.
They also have to deal with wifi’s real disadvantage compared to 3G…accessibility. Over 60 Zolspots (Hotels, restaurants etc) is commendable, but is it enough to compete with 1 million cell phones and modems that can pickup 3G?
Making matters worse is that 3G also comes in a lot cheaper, just $25 a month – and given enough competition between ‘Telecompetitors’ and that could become cheaper still.
How This affects You
Well for one thing, you’ll have more options for connectivity than ever. More importantly though, so will your customers. I’ve been saying for a long now that the Internet will affect Zimbabwe business in significant ways.
There’s just no denying the effect of that many people in Zim, suddenly having easy and cheaper internet access. You can choose to be ahead of the curve, or behind it.
As for ZOL… let’s not pronounce their end demise just yet…the fat lady hasn’t started singing yet (although the band seems to be getting ready). Maybe they have something up their sleeves? Besides that, it still amazes me how many individuals and companies are still on dial-up. Perhaps the market, for now is big enough for both David (WiFi) and Goliath (3G).
I really did like their email broad cast though. Significantly better than most email marketing efforts I see from local companies. There are some smart people in the ZOL team and they won’t be going down easily. About their email advert;
- They took advantage of their competitors failure to deliver on time
- Great headline
- Good logic
- Benefit driven,
- Great offer
- Sent to a fairly well targeted list.
You should see it.
Want to read it? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘ZOL Advert’ and I’ll send it to you.
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