If you are an Econet customer you might have experienced issues starting around 3 PM in the afternoon yesterday. This was due to an incident on the Econet’s “core network” that resulted in data connections not working for the majority of Econet’s customers. There were a lot of complaints on social media over the issue but thankfully Econet has announced that the problem was resolved around 6PM yesterday.

This is what the company had to say over the issue:

We had a data service interruption between about 3pm and 6pm today. The outage was triggered by an incident which took place on part of our core network, which has since been successfully resolved.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience this caused to our customers during that time

Econet’s spokeperson

The rising importance of data

There was a time when being online was a cool convenience. These days it is a necessity thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic which made online services from various companies essential. The bulk of Zimbabweans connect to the internet through mobile data and Econet is the largest mobile network operator. That means they are an important gateway to the internet.

You can see from the horror stories on social media how important the internet has become. A lot of people could no longer make payments as they could not use their mobile banking apps. People’s meetings were cut short when the outage hit. Swipe machines which GPRS to connect to the internet were no longer working and so businesses lost sales. It was a stressful moment for a lot of people overall.

This underscores the importance of always having a backup line from a different network. A lot of phones are dual SIMs. You can just buy a daily bundle for that line and switch to their data connection whenever there is an outage. Telecel has cheap data packages if you live in an urban area. You can try NetOne if you are in peri-urban and rural areas since their coverage is comparable to that of Econet.