Econet extends new prepaid service to rural Zimbabwe

Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa

Mobile operator Econet Wireless is set to launch, by the end of this month, a new prepaid service targeted at low-income earners in rural areas of Zimbabwe, writes the government’s publication The Herald.

The service, named “Call-Me-Back” is available for now to Econet’s Libertie prepaid service users, however the company plans to extend it to payphone users, said to be a world innovation so far.

The subscribers will be able to send messages to others through a payphone operator, asking them to call back, explained Ranga Mberi, Econet spokesman.

If the text message is sent to an Econet number the service will be free, but if it sent to someone outside the Econet network, the subscriber pays using an Econet “1-minute coin”, he added.

“As most people in Zimbabwe are on the Econet network, the new service will allow most people who live in rural areas, or are unable to own their own cellphone, to send messages to relatives, to call them back, for free. It is also expected to be very popular with students and other young people who need to contact parents urgently but may not have money”, Mberi said.

Econet Wireless has already been extended its payphones network to rural areas and suburbs to acquire a wider coverage in Zimbabwe and allow the introduction of more communication services in these areas.