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5.6k views
in Broadband by Guru (94.6k points)
uMax (Dandemutande) have a $75 a month package for 20Gb where this includeds the cost of the device whilst ZOL (Zimbabwe Online, now an Econet subsidiary) has a similar package (where you take the device for FREE) but only pay $59 for unlimited usage.

Has anybody used both of these services and made a comparison? Which is fast (or faster), more reliable? I am strongly thinking of switching from uMax to ZOL, partly because they are frequently down and always attribute the fault to PowerTel.

Any suggestions?
by new here (120 points)
Used Zol $69 unlimited package got disappointed and moved to umax it is worthy it

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6 Answers

0 votes
by Guru (31.2k points)
Switch to ZOL for SUPER SUPER FAST internet speeds. Im streaming on YouTube now...Im in the CBD......
0 votes
by new here (180 points)
I agree with  Castro post.
Personally i use  ZOL internet service.Through this service,I experienced good  speed.I never had any problem.I checked my net speed by http://www.scanmyspeed.com/  My results are Good than my previous provider.
0 votes
by new here (180 points)
I will help you.
0 votes
by Expert (16.7k points)
In the WiMAX realm my experience is iWay is the king here.
ZOL is no good for WiMAX and I now only use it for guests and when my iWay link is down.  That is about 0.001% of the time.
When I am not using iWay strangely I still use my legacy Ecoweb WiMAX which while I pay 2.5c per Mb for, has incredible speeds 1-2Mbps, pointing at the same base station as ZOL.  Just a public IP and different DNS.  I am guessing there is some serious shapping, compression and fair usage that makes the ZOL package not so attractive.

given that iWay and uMAX are now merged.  I would lean towards uMax.

Disclaimer: my last mile for iWay is currently Africom
by Expert (16.7k points)
line of sight access to pockets hill.
0 votes
by Guru (88.1k points)
Zol is becoming crap!! Jus like Powertel of yesteryear.

I have been using them for the last year and talking to their so called tech support is like talking to sales people.

They remind me of my early contact days with Powertel tech support. They used to chan a lot of rubbish when they could not understand the technical fault.

I had a run with one last week, l kept on reminding him that l was not interested in buying a higher priced bundle, all l was asking was for him to confirm my uplink speeds.

But god knows what got into his brains, he kept insisting on downloads speed and how bundles work and if l was interested to buy a business package. Im already on a $99 package, l asked what was wrong with that.

At this rate, l will be knocking at uMax door soon. l was an early adopter of Powertel, then left them for Telone broadband, l left Telone broad to Zol and now l do see ourselves going different directions soon.

It was nice knowing you Zol!!

If you on Zol, from the test l did a while back this is how they are killing your speed besides shapping.

Zol does not directly connect to Liquid, which is the uplink backbone fibre for Econet. It Nat into Econet private lan, which then Nat again into Liquid.

There is heavy packet loss on both nat points, maybe caused by a Del Boy router. This will in turn affect your internet experience especially voip applications like viber or skype, lm interested to know this new voip service they are touting.

Econet core network runs on MP-BGP(mpls) that is how it is being used to injest Zol whole network as one maybe using one exit and entry label(ldp). To me thats wrong, Zol should become part of Econet's core network, unless the fear confirms the fact that Zol network design is sub standard they are scared it will break there network.

I raised conjestion issues with Heather Green, jus like her tech sales guts, asked me to put it in writing. I never did.
by Guru (57.6k points)
your comments about the setup of wimax are incorrect - theres no double NAT happening

your connection goes to Base Station - > tunnel to an AGW -> ZOL router (a big cisco thats barely taxed on CPU) -> (NAT) -> Internet via LTZ

NAT only happens once if you exclude your home router in fact econet are not even involved with it anymore so we don't have those wierd bounce arounds happening
by Guru (88.1k points)
They definately used to, l will test again to see if they had changed the setup. I do not nat, l use a AP switch which lets zol outdoor unit does everything.

If there is anyone using zol wimax, and on windows, can you please go to command prompt and type pathping 8.8.8.8 then enter.

Please copy and paste the results here
by Expert (16.7k points)
Zol WiMax - Pockets Hill here is your path ping result to 8.8.8.8

something is not right with my E900
Tracing route to google-public-dns-a.google.com [8.8.8.8]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  0  XXX-PC01 [192.168.0.103]
  1  192.168.0.1
  2  10.1.1.254
  3     *        *        *     
Computing statistics for 50 seconds...
            Source to Here   This Node/Link
Hop  RTT    Lost/Sent = Pct  Lost/Sent = Pct  Address
  0                                           XXX-PC01 [192.168.0.103]
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  1    0ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  192.168.0.1
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  2    6ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  10.1.1.254

Trace complete.
by Expert (16.7k points)
Wireless router set to bridge.

Tracing route to google-public-dns-a.google.com [8.8.8.8]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  0  XXX-PC01 [10.1.1.3]
  1  10.1.1.254
  2     *        *        *     
Computing statistics for 25 seconds...
            Source to Here   This Node/Link
Hop  RTT    Lost/Sent = Pct  Lost/Sent = Pct  Address
  0                                           XXX-PC01 [10.1.1.3]
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  1    6ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  10.1.1.254

Trace complete.
by Guru (88.1k points)
E900--> Is this your personal router or it was given to you by Zol
? Do you have any router or access point which is your personal...

0  XXX-PC01 [192.168.0.103] ---> lm just wondering if this is coming from your personal router/access point or in is from Zol modem.
by Expert (16.7k points)
Ok so to make it clear see below

Desktop PC 192.168.0.103 ---> Linksys E900 (Zol supplied running IP Address 192.168.0.1 ----> Internet Port is on is 10.1.1.2 ----> WiMAX Indoor Kit 10.1.1.254 ----> WAN IP
by Expert (16.7k points)
ZOL supplied the E900 as above, but first thing I did was to reset it!  I also have another router that is personal.  Finally the second ping path, was with the e900 set to bridge, i.e. using the wimax dhcp.
by Guru (88.1k points)
fourwallsinaroom can you do tracert -d 4.2.2.2

If you have access to a linux pc, can you also do traceroute -A 4.2.2.2

This will give us a clear picture of who is doing what and where. A linux PC is the best as it will give us AS numbers in the trace.
by Guru (57.6k points)
10.1.1.254 is the default IP of your wimax CPE anything before that in a trace is your LAN side also you not supplying full trace either
by Guru (88.1k points)
Is this router involved in this path. If Zol is using there Wimax as dhcp server, which they do on mine and limit the clients to 8, then Anthony's claim that they dont nat falls away.

Zol Wimax modem will have to NAT between the dhcp addresses its giving to its clients and the network it is using to connect to the base station.
by Expert (16.7k points)
No linux pc.  Will make a live cd and run the trace.  In the meantime!

Tracing route to google-public-dns-a.google.com [8.8.8.8]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     2 ms  192.168.0.1
  2     5 ms     6 ms     6 ms  10.1.1.254
  3     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  4   330 ms   108 ms   305 ms  192.168.51.10
  5   309 ms     *       78 ms  192.168.56.253
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  8     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  9     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 10     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 11   841 ms   605 ms   543 ms  72.14.204.36
 12   648 ms   609 ms   525 ms  72.14.239.53
 13   798 ms   349 ms   253 ms  google-public-dns-a.google.com [8.8.8.8]

Trace complete.
by Guru (88.1k points)
Does the cpe provide dhcp addresses Anthony?
by Expert (16.7k points)
In my setup.
CPE has DHCP enabled
Linksys E900 has DHCP enabled
Therefore
WAN on the linksys is DHCP assigned by CPE 10.1.1.2
clients connecting to e900 get anything form 192.168.0.xxx
by Expert (16.7k points)
@anthony when you say I am not providing the full trace, what do you want me to do to get the full trace?  I am just running the commands as requested.
by Guru (88.1k points)
You are the best  fourwallsinaroom, lets now tear this apart

  1     1 ms     1 ms     2 ms  192.168.0.1

This can be you private lan, maybe you have a private router here. Not a big, but you will be Nated into 10.1.1.254

Next:

 2     5 ms     6 ms     6 ms  10.1.1.254

This is the  of your Wimax cpe network connecting to the base station

Next:

 3     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  4   330 ms   108 ms   305 ms  192.168.51.10
  5   309 ms     *       78 ms  192.168.56.253

What on earth is this?? Another NATing again into a different private network!!

Just check the delay happening at stage 4&5, 330ms second delay on a so called fibre network?? Either the router is struggling or there is heavy shaping going on there..

Next:
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  8     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  9     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 10     *        *        *     Request timed out.

This to me smell like Econet backbone network with icmp turned of l think.

Next:

11   841 ms   605 ms   543 ms  72.14.204.36
 12   648 ms   609 ms   525 ms  72.14.239.53
 13   798 ms   349 ms   253 ms  google-public-dns-a.google.com [8.8.8.8]

The packets gets into Google network.
by Guru (57.6k points)
Its not NAT'ing hops 3 4 5 - your IP on the ZOL network is still the WAN IP you have assigned on your CPE and its that IP all the way through to ZOL where it gets NAT'ed to the 197.211.219.x IP you see in what is my ip lookups

those are just things like the AGW and the zol router that does the actual NAT, i think the first one is the AGW so the hops between 2-4 also include the wireless portion of the transmission so 300ms latency is not abnormal

hops 6-10 could also be outside of ZOL network too - best thing to compare and check would be to ping something like harare.speedtest.co.zw
by Guru (88.1k points)
As a service provider your core network design is seriously flawed. We should not be seeing those private ip address when tracing a packet, only public ip should be visible.
by Guru (57.6k points)
your preaching to the choir there - we shouldn't be doign CG-NAT really either but thats a different matter a lot of stuff is inherited like this and to make changes are not simple things to do without impacting a lot of customers that otherwise enjoy service
by Guru (88.1k points)
Im not enjoying the service thats why lm preaching. I will be soon when l switch provider though. Utande uMax beconing, l hear their voice
by Guru (57.6k points)
but your 1 in how many though? and have you raised the matter through the correct channels - my point is that nobody can ever hope to please every single person - there will always be one or 2 people unhappy with the service - this could be for genuine reasons or it could be less genuine reasons (expecting guaranteed CIR speeds when paying for a shaped package etc) - thats a whole other debate though
by Guru (88.1k points)
Thats exactly was how Powertel guys used to behave when l was raising technical issues with them claiming most of their customers were happy with the services.

Granted, maybe lm the only one of zol customers who understands what to expect from an isp. Maybe lm able to make my own troubleshooting to see where the problem is.

Maybe lm the one who understand and sense when the ship starts to sink and jump before disaster.

So what are the proper channels of getting things done besides contacting support?
0 votes
by Guru (57.6k points)
I'll give my 2 cents here

DISCLAIMER - i work for ZOL but i have used uMax before - in fact i still have the uMax outdoor modem attached to my house although unused these days

Umax provides a reliable mostly 1mbps service, its reliable, consistent and you get exactly what you pay for BUT it is capped, ultimately if you use more than your cap it gets very expensive quickly particularly if you are a heavy user.

ZOL wimax is granted much less consistent - partially due to its success causing over subscription in some areas but if GPON is in your area, why not lets compare capped plans to capped plans - ZOL has a $39 and an $89 plan that gives 15GB@upto 5mbps and 30GB@upto 10mbps respectively - like for like Fibre will beat wimax hands down every time - regardless of the provider generally so on the numbers alone, if you are in a GPON area this is a no brainer - get ZOL GPON.

if your not in a GPON area then its much more 50:50 zol wimax is unlimited and generally out of hours unshaped so torrents will work and doesn't mean you will have a nasty surprise if you run out of data - if you need reliable business hours surfing then ZOL $59 isn't the package for you considering it is indeed a home package
by Guru (88.1k points)
Which makes me worried, lm not in an area where l can get fibre.

Zol broke rule number 1 of isp, bandwidth must always be oversubscribed.

So are you goin to loose customers now because you do not have enough bandwidth. Are you goin to tell pple to be happy(you already did it to me) that at least it works so get used to it!!
by Guru (57.6k points)
the issue isn't the transit its the access network - wimax needs more base stations which are expensive and with the advent of widespread fibre coming through why would Liquid or econet invest in such when they would rather have people on fibre - i do hear your problem though it sucks when fibre isn't in the area, it was painful for me for a while as well
by Guru (88.1k points)
edited by
Bt they are still signing in pple on a congested network as quickly as they  can handle at bandwidth level.

The fibre roll out is very slow and thinly spread.
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