Zimbabwe Mobile Communication & The Internet

Ever been to Zimbabwe? If you have, you have probably heard these terms “RTGS,” “Bond,” “US Dollar.” If you don’t live here, you will probably be left confused wondering which currency we use, and where each type of currency is used. Let me help you understand the Zimbabwe currency.

Zimbabwe Phone Codes, Mobile Networks, Internet Service Providers and APN information

Which Mobile Networks Do We Have in Zimbabwe?

We have 3 mobile networks in Zimbabwe, and these are: Telecel, Econet, and NetOne. These use the GSM specification (I am yet to meet anyone who uses a CDMA smart phone in this country). All the three networks have 2G, 3G and 4G LTE. We do not currently have 5G.

What is the Zimbabwe Phone Code?

The Zimbabwe Phone Country Code is +263

The mobile operators/networks use the 07 prefix. Econet uses 077/078, NetOne uses 071, and Telecel uses 073
Let me give a few examples

Typical Econet Number: (+263) 777 124 233; (+263) 787 344 233

Typical NetOne Number: (+263) 717 124 233; (+263) 716 344 233

Typical Telecel Number: (+263) 733 124 233; (+263) 734 344 233

Which Mobile Operator is the Most Reliable?

This greatly depends on where you live. If you intend to go to the rural/remote areas, NetOne will be your best bet. If you are going to be in a big city e.g. Harare or in a tourist town e.g. Victoria Falls, then Econet could be a very attractive option. If you do not want to get stranded, just get two lines – one from Econet and the other from NetOne.

How Do You Purchase a Line and Where Do You Purchase it?

Well, getting a line is pretty easy. Here’s how a typical local gets a line:

Visit your nearest shop (e.g. if you want to get an Econet line, visit the branch closest to where you currently are)

Tell the friendly guard that you would love to purchase a line. He will usher you to the queue for new lines, and give you papers to fill your details in. These are usually your National Identity Card Number (ID Number), and your Residential address.

Produce a copy of your ID (black and white photocopy of your ID). Some shops even scan the ID for you.

Pay the amount required for you to get a new line (this usually cost less than the equivalent of 1 US dollar).

The customer service representative will activate the line, write down the number (so that you can share it with others), and give you a SIM starter pack. This contains a SIM Card, the Pin numbers, and the PUK numbers. The SIM cards being given nowadays are cut in such a way that they can be used as: ordinary SIM cards (used in Nokia 3310s), micro SIM cards (used in older smartphones), and nano SIM cards (used in the more recent smart phones).

This process can take up to 10 minutes.

TIP – If you want to get your line quickly, go to a shop that is a bit outside the CBD. The probability of joining a long queue will be greatly reduced, and the customer service is usually a bit better.

I Got a Line, What’s Next?

You need to recharge it so that you start communicating with your friends. Buy Econet and NetOne airtime from www.paynow.co.zw

Note! For all mobile networks, the lines come as pre-paid lines. This means you first have to buy either an electronic or a physical scratch card (which contains the recharge number. We usually call these Juice cards so don’t get confused when someone calls a scratch card a juice card). One can apply for a contract line at the Mobile Network’s branches.

To juice your airtime, follow the instructions on this link: https://www.techzim.co.zw/buying-data-bundles-zimbabwe-ussd-econet-telecel-netone/"

In addition, we have what are called bundles. There are data bundles that are used for anything that uses data, then there are Facebook bundles which can only visit the Facebook website, or can only use the Facebook Messenger application to work, then there are WhatsApp bundles that allow the user to use the bundle to send and receive messages (including pictures, audio, and even sometimes allows for WhatsApp calls), Instagram bundles, SMS bundles (yes some people still use texts) and some mobile networks offer On-Net voice bundles.

How Do I Access the Internet?

Well, you need to setup what is called an APN. Here are links which will help you setup your APN for Econet and NetOne. https://www.apnsettings.org/zimbabwe/econet-zw/ , https://www.apnsettings.org/zimbabwe/netone-zw/

After that, you must be good to go!


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