TelOne partners OneWeb (Starlink competitor) and looks to slash fibre and ADSL prices too

I am astounded by just how much a little competition can achieve for end-users. For years, we were told that the economic conditions in Zimbabwe were so dire that high […] The post TelOne partners OneWeb (Starlink competitor) and looks to slash fibre and ADSL prices too appeared first on Techzim.

TelOne partners OneWeb (Starlink competitor) and looks to slash fibre and ADSL prices too
TelOne Runhare House COVID-19

I am astounded by just how much a little competition can achieve for end-users. For years, we were told that the economic conditions in Zimbabwe were so dire that high internet access costs were inevitable.

We begrudgingly accepted it, living in the same economy and understanding the challenges. However, when Starlink seemed poised to enter Zimbabwe, our internet access providers (IAPs) suddenly started thinking outside the box.

Just over a month ago, Liquid, the largest IAP, partnered with OneWeb, one of Starlink’s biggest competitors in the low earth orbit satellite internet arena. We applauded the move, but Liquid wasn’t finished yet. Just over a week ago, they introduced more affordable unlimited packages.

It’s as if we’re living in a different Zimbabwe. Where were these initiatives pre-Starlink? Never yo mind, the good news continues. TelOne, the second-largest IAP, has joined the fray.

TelOne partners OneWeb

Last week, TelOne CEO Lawrence Nkala said,

Technology is here to stay and with the coming in of low-earth orbit (OBT) in the country, affordability of the internet is what we will want to look at.

We will partner with low-earth orbit satellite providers and TelOne this week concluded a partnership with a low-earth orbit satellite provider. We will see to it that the launch of our services will be in Q3/Q4 2024. We have partnered with Eutelsat OneWeb and the deal is basically that we will be reselling their services and we will be doing the deliveries.

OneWeb partners with businesses, allowing them to resell or distribute their products, unlike Starlink, which mostly goes it alone when possible. This partnership model is why both TelOne and Liquid chose OneWeb.

To understand what the deal means for TelOne, you can read this article about the similar partnership between Liquid and OneWeb: Liquid partners with Eutelsat to take on Starlink in the satellite internet race, let’s talk about it. The implications are the same for TelOne.

I believe TelOne will likely sign a distribution partner agreement similar to the one between Liquid and OneWeb. You might find OneWeb’s pitch to potential partners interesting, as it highlights the benefits that attracted both TelOne and Liquid.

Do you have a vision for how Eutelsat OneWeb connectivity can power your network solution? Do you have a customer base ready for low-latency, high-speed connectivity? Can you ramp up your business using APIs, automation, and self-service tools? Can you manage logistics and supply chain, and serve customers end to end? Is it time to enhance or scale connectivity for your enterprise, community, government, maritime, or aviation business?

If your answer is yes, then Eutelsat OneWeb would like to hear from you. Our channel partner program offers strength in partnership, to serve enterprise-grade broadband that you can flex to your customers’ needs, when, where, and how you want it.

As you can see, OneWeb is flexible and we may yet see our 2 IAPs integrate differently. TelOne isn’t sure just how the partnership will work out. Said Nkala,

No commercial terms have been concluded yet. We have just concluded that TelOne will be their partners in distributing their services.

Slashing prices

Just like Liquid, TelOne realised that simply partnering with OneWeb to distribute their services wouldn’t be enough. They cannot neglect their terrestrial (land-based) infrastructure and become overly reliant on OneWeb.

So, it follows that they have to reduce the prices of their fibre and ADSL packages, as Liquid did.

Remember how, for the longest time, internet providers in the country were putting on a brave face and downplaying the impact of Starlink’s potential arrival? It’s refreshing to see TelOne’s CEO being candid about the situation. Nkala stated,

We will introduce flexible pricing models to remain competitive. If we need to give discounts on certain products, we will do so, so that we remain in the game.

At the end of the day, we cannot offer prices that are below our costs, so where we do have flesh to cut in terms of pricing, then so be it.  Our goal is to attract and retain customers with competitive pricing.

TelOne is well aware that the company stands at a crossroads and are facing an existential threat. They understand that if they don’t play their cards right, they could be forced out of the game. Nobody wants that.

All is well…

It appears we can look forward to lower prices all around – the very thing we’ve been crying out for all these years.

So, what happened to the supposedly insurmountable economic challenges? Last I checked, Zimbabwe is still landlocked, and Mthuli has not tweaked his exorbitant taxes. So, how are these price cuts possible?

That’s all in the past, though. I know some of you have vowed never to use Liquid or TelOne services again if you can avoid it due to the ‘years of extortion.’ That’s a bit foolish.

We are about to have multiple decent options, and you’re going to swear off some of them? Don’t be silly, just choose the one that offers the best value for you. Forget the past.

Sure, it might leave a bad taste in your mouth working with your former ‘abusers,’ but if we, as a country, can work with our former colonisers, you too can work with our IAPs.

So, my dear friends, as we said before, we all stand to benefit from Starlink’s potential arrival, whether we use their services or not. The developments mentioned above are a testament to that.

Remember, though, that the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is set to license even more players. These new entrants don’t need as much capital to set up as before, as they can partner with companies like OneWeb and achieve 100% coverage of Zimbabwe instantly.

We’ll see what these other players bring to the table, but it can only mean good things for us as consumers.

Also read:

The post TelOne partners OneWeb (Starlink competitor) and looks to slash fibre and ADSL prices too appeared first on Techzim.

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