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TelOne introduces ADSL prepaid scratch cards

December 17th, 2014

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TelOne, Zimbabwe’s sole fixed line operator, has just announced the introduction of physical prepaid recharge cards for their ADSL broadband service. The recharge cards come in $25, $45, $85 and $160 denominations which have data caps of 10GB, 25GB, 50GB and unlimited data respectively. We expected the different cards to have uniform speeds but a contact at the company tells us this […]

Government moves to lower money transfer charges and broadband prices

December 17th, 2014

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It looks like we are headed towards cheaper mobile money services and lower broadband prices if the State’s word is anything to go by. According to a report in the Herald. the government has directed the Competition and Tariffs Commission to investigate mobile transfer costs after there were concerns raised about the steep pricing structure. All this […]

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Webdev switches on Paynow on classifieds.co.zw. But just partly for now

December 17th, 2014

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If you’re a Classifieds subscriber then you probably noticed in the past couple of days an announcement by Webdev (the company that owns the property) that they have introduced Priority Advertising. What this is essentially is that now advertisers can pay instantly via Paynow to have their adverts prioritised instantly. This is the big change. In the past the only […]

2014 in review: The winning apps for the year

December 17th, 2014

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We are at that time of the year when we decide to take a step back and try to get a better sense of what was really going down in 2014. It’s the end of 2014, and I have had my fair share of experiences this year with quite a lot which includes apps. I […]

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2014 in review: Highlights in Zimbabwean internet services

December 17th, 2014

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  2014 has been a fairly exciting year in the ISP arena, with some interesting developments from the different providers. We decided to look at some of the highlights in Zimbabwean internet services over the past 12 months. Mobile Broadband The year will probably be remembered for the introduction of OTT services. These were specifically the […]

POTRAZ to develop Zimbabwe’s National Broadband Plan in 2015

December 16th, 2014

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Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has said that in 2015 it expects to develop a National Broadband Plan with the help of operators and other broadband ecosystem ‘stakeholders’. Responding to our questions, the acting director general, Baxton Sirewu, said today that the national broadband emphasises “the vital role of broadband in underpinning national competitiveness”, and that […]

Econet reactivates USSD long codes, fixes and updates its EcoCash app

December 16th, 2014

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Just last month we were complaining about how Econet was dragging its feet in updating its EcoCash App which has been available on Android since March this year. The app had become ineffective because of the disabling of USSD long codes that run at the back of the app, powering every function selected.The good news is that […]

Tech medicine gadget review: A look at two self monitoring devices

December 16th, 2014

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High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common chronic diseases. Hence they are the target of many interventions. One example of such intervention that is facilitated by tech medicine is the use of self monitoring tools and devices. Though these devices and the accompanying software don’t replace medical practitioners, they let the patients keep […]

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Infrastructure Sharing: Operators selling to IHS, Helios, Eaton, American Tower Company

December 16th, 2014

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When I decided to prefix the title of this article with “Infrastructure sharing:”, I realised it would make some readers protest that this is technically wrong as it’s not strictly a form of infrastructure sharing. So, Infrastructure as a Service? As correct as it feels it’s also an abuse of something else. But then again, active telecoms infrastructure is now increasingly getting […]

Farewell clip art, it was a life well lived

December 16th, 2014

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We all agree that the folks at Microsoft are incompetent good for nothing coders right, cue you should all agree with me. But once in a while they get it right and come up with awesome ideas, or just steal them from FOSS, in a way that more than atones for their misdeeds and makes […]

Customer service meets digital through social media

December 15th, 2014

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I was recently invited to present a paper on customer service in the digital era at a conference that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. I focused on how brands can effectively utilise digital tools in the delivery of great customer service. Customer service has emerged as the key differential in the extremely competitive environment […]

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Event blog: Telecoms infrastructure sharing submissions to POTRAZ

December 15th, 2014

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This article was a live blog of a POTRAZ event held on 15 December 2014. The event was held to get input from operators and other stakeholders in the telecoms ecosystem. As you maybe aware, today, POTRAZ is holding an event to discuss infrastructure sharing. In attendance here are operators, NGOs, a few politicians (one […]

FBC finally fixes Prepaid MasterCard. TelOne & Post Office to take deposits

December 13th, 2014

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Today, a debit card that you can use online and when you travel outside Zimbabwe is reasonably within anyone’s reach. It wasn’t always so. Back some 4 years ago, bank cards with with MasterCard or visa logo were for the elite. Actually, just banking itself was for the working minority. When FBC launched a prepaid MasterCard in […]

#Humor: What if Google was a guy pedagogic video sensation

December 12th, 2014

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Imagine your were this guy and your thankless job was to sit at a desk all day answering all the world’s questions. My 4 year old niece by my elder sister has reached that inquisitive 3-9 year stretch when they ask the most inane, profound, axiomatic and fundamentally hard to answer questions. She is tenacious […]

Special Edition Podcast: Talking tech and music with Tehn Diamond

December 12th, 2014

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One of the features of the second edition of the Startup Weekend Harare was a special “Elevator Pitch”  acapela performance from local Hip Hop artist, Tehn Diamond. This was the same pitch that he went on to perform at Emerging Ideas’ Pitch Night. Tehn has a fascination with technology and startups, and how the internet has […]

Technology and music: making a profit after the disruption

December 12th, 2014

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Managing any business has more than its fair set of challenges even if the formula for getting it going seems simple. You’re supposed to identify a need, create a solution/product and pass it on to the customer who will pay for it. But what happens when the customer doesn’t have to pay to get the […]

Econet jumps back into insurance. What’s their play here?

December 11th, 2014

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It’s no longer called EcoLife, but Econet are back in the insurance game. This time it’s called EcoSure, and its hardly the same thing as the previous offering. The service has a different value proposition and merits in other aspects such as ease of use and a different payout. This is the MNO’s renewed attempt at […]

The latest on everything you need to know about domain names

December 11th, 2014

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We continue with the series on domain names and the important things to know and remember when securing a domain name and creating a web presence. Structure of domain names A domain name is composed of different parts separated by “dots” and each part represents a hierarchy in the domain name structure and this hierarchy […]

First impressions of the CABS mobile banking app

December 11th, 2014

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  Let’s face it, anything that makes the processes involved in banking any easier or faster is always a winner. Safe to say that tech has always been expected to be the one thing that can do this. For local mobile banking solutions the case for making life easier usually involves using a USSD driven solution, something […]

Some perspectives on African tech and innovation from Erik Hersman

December 10th, 2014

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We told you about our conversation with Erik Hersman, co founder of Kenya’s iHub and the man working in different startups like BRCK and Ushahidi. Here is the podcast we had with him where he shared some thoughts on the potential of African countries, Zimbabwe included, in innovation. In this podcast Erik also touched on Maker […]

The WhatsApp news feed is more relevant & engaging than the Facebook one

December 10th, 2014

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Recently, I realised I don’t use Facebook that much anymore. I use Messenger everyday yes, but the main Facebook, the newsfeed, I just find too noisy and full of content that’s not helpful to me. Of course this noise is a result I caused myself by careless adding and accepting friends that are not friends and ‘liking’ pages with […]

EcoLife relaunches as EcoSure. The new model

December 10th, 2014

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About a month ago, we got information and published that Econet wad preparing to re-launch what used to be (a nightmare) called EcoLife. Today, that product is being officially launched in Harare, but under a different name – EcoSure. This is one product that has taken Econet a long time to deliver both because of the […]

Two Zimbabwean startups are finalists in the Global Startup Battle

December 10th, 2014

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Just last month we had Startup Weekend Harare “2.0” and from that a couple of startup teams from that marathon decided to compete on a world stage. The good news is both teams have now made the final twenty in the Global Startup Battle. Food Match and Mhuri Yethu were respective winner and runner up of […]

4 important lessons for startups from an African entrepreneur

December 9th, 2014

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Yesterday Hypercube Hub hosted a fireside chat with tech entrepreneur and iHub co-founder Erik Hersman. He’d dropped in as part of a cross continent biker expedition. After his talk we managed to steal him for a brief chat. In this talk Erik shared four pearls of wisdom for African tech entrepreneurs which we have listed […]