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Basics Edit

Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is an enclaved, landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa. It's just over 30,000 km2 in size and has a population slightly over two million.

There are two mobile network operators in Lesotho:

  • Vodacom Lesotho
  • Econet (Ezi-Cel, by ETL)

Vodacom is Lesotho’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a total user base of 1.4 million in 2016, well ahead of sole rival Econet with around 512,000 cellular customers. There is effective competition in the mobile sector between South Africa-based Vodacom and ETL with low prices.

For both operators 2G is on 900 MHz, 3G on 2100 MHz and 4G/LTE started on Vodacom on 800 MHz.

Although landlocked, Lesotho has benefited from connectivity to the several submarine fibre optic cables which land on African east and west coasts. These quadrupled international bandwidth from 2012 on and contributed to lower end-user prices.

If you have a South African Vodacom SIM Card, you can use it in Lesotho only on the Vodacom network. Be sure to enable roaming. International roaming from other countries and providers may be restricted to a few providers only.

The Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) is examining the potential introduction of a SIM card registration in the country in a bid to curb crime committed using mobile phones. For the time being Lesotho remains one of only a handful of African countries without any form of SIM registration legislation in place.

The currency of this article is Loti (plural: Maloti; LSL, M) the currency of the Kingdom of Lesotho. It's pegged to the South African rand (ZAR) on a 1:1 basis.

Vodacom Lesotho Edit

Vodacom

Vodacom is the leading provider in Lesotho. It's South Africa based and owned by Vodafone from the UK. It has almost 3/4 of all national subscribers and clearly the better network: coverage map

2G is up to EDGE on 900 MHz, 3G up to HSPA on 2100 MHz and 4G/LTE on 800 MHz (band 20). Coverage and speeds are good. In 2015 around 95% of the population are covered by 3G networks and 4G/LTE started in 2014 in major towns.

Availability Edit

You can buy a Vodacom or Ezicel Buddie pay as you go sim card for under LSL 30 from any of their Vodacom Centres nationwide (list) and many other stores still without registration.

To start up insert your SIM card into your cellphone, dial 100 and then follow the voice prompts.

Vodacom Lesotho has three prepaid tariff plans: Prepaid per Second, Prepaid Anytime and Prepaid Bua. The default tariff is the Prepaid per Second, but customers can migrate to other tariffs using the free change service, via self-service *111#. For data, it doesn't make a difference which plan you are on.

Top-ups Edit

You can buy a voucher or a till slip at any Vodacom approved outlet displaying their logo. The airtime value and PIN will be printed on the voucher.

To check balance, enter *100#.

Data feature packages Edit

Out of bundle M 1.25 on all of their plans. These bundles are sold:

Data Time Price
5 MB 1 day M 2
20 MB 1 day M 5
50 MB 1 day M 8
80 MB 7 days M 15
200 MB 7 days M 30
400 MB 7 days M 45
12 MB 30 days M 5
30 MB 30 days M 10
70 MB 30 days M 20
200 MB 30 days M 50
1 GB 30 days M 100
2 GB 30 days M 150
3 GB 30 days M 220
5 GB 30 days M 360
10 GB 30 days M 680
20 GB 30 days M 850

Daily bundles expire at 23:59:59 on the day purchased, weekly bundles expire at 23:59:59 on the 7th day after purchase, monthly bundles expire at 23:59:59 on the 30th day after purchase.

To activate dial *111#, select buy bundles, select data dundles, choose daily, weekly or monthly bundles, choose your desired value and confirm. Bundles won't auto-renew.

More infomation Edit

Econet (ETL, Ezi-Cel) Edit

Econet

Econet Telecom Lesotho (ETL) came into being following the merger between Telecom Lesotho and Econet Ezi-Cel Lesotho in 2008. The merger of the two companies allowed ETL to provide both fixed and mobile services under one license. The former state telco is now privatized and lags behind Vodacom in market share and coverage.

2G is up to EDGE on 900 MHz, 3G up to HDSPA on 2100 MHz. There is some mulling about 4G/LTE going on, but it can hardly be found. Only use them after having verfied coverage and speed before.

Availability Edit

Their prepaid SIM card plans are called Buddie and Libertie. They are sold for free with a mandatory M 50 recharge.

Top-ups are done with vouchers sold are over . To recharge: dial *133*<voucher PIN>#. In South Africa you can use MTN vouchers and add by *222*<PIN>#. You can also transfer airtime from one customer to another by *125*<amount>*<number of recipient># e.g. to transfer M50 to 6xxxxxxx dial *125*50*6xxxxxxx# and send.

To check balance, enter *134#.

Data feature packages Edit

They sell daily, weekly and monthly packages for data:

  • daily:
    • 3 MB: M 1
    • 120 MB: M 10
  • weekly:
    • 200 MB: M 10
    • 500 MB: M 25
    • 1 GB: M 50
  • monthly:
    • 2 GB: M 120

Activate by *100# and choose package.

More infomation Edit

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