Pictures: Africom’s new services, CDMA mobile phones and other gadgets

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Last week, we got an opportunity to visit the Africom head office in Harare. Africom staff showed us some of the gadgets that the telecoms operator is promoting as part of the roll out of the new voice and data services. The gadgets are available for sale at the Africom shops and the company says it is working to establish reseller partners in the country. We took a few photos of the gadgets.

Here are the pictures (we have included the prices, where we could them, for the rest, we suggest calling Africom and finding out):

Part of the Africom Showroom for the new services

The main gadgets: a CDMA Desk phone, a WiMax indoor unit, a Modem, a basic CDMA phone and some CDMA smartphones

A basic LG CDMA mobile phone. Africom is selling this phone for US $75.00. Pricey for an entry level phone. It’s Africom’s lowest priced phone.

Some CDMA Smartphones. We're not sure why Africom is exhibiting (or selling) an HTC Sprint mobile phone. The price tag on this one was US $632.50

The Nokia 8208 CDMA mobile phone. This one is going for US $287.50 (Africom price)

A WiMax indoor unit. Quick to setup Wi-Fi solution for small office and home customers

The ZTE AC2746 data modem. Going for US $80. Quite pricey for just a modem

Ok, so there you have it. We’d love to know your thoughts on the gadgets. please share in the comments below.



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20 Comments

    1. SONET

      Afr-com is now confused instead of selling services they are now selling gadgets. The same ZTE modem costs around $37 in Chinese wholesalers.

      by the way Econet modems are also CDMA modems  and those ZTE modems at Africom are also 3G modems

      Reply
    2. SONET

      Afr-com is now confused instead of selling services they are now selling gadgets. The same ZTE modem costs around $37 in Chinese wholesalers.

      by the way Econet modems are also CDMA modems  and those ZTE modems at Africom are also 3G modems

      Reply
    3. Itai

      they make a bit of $ upfront when u purchase the modem.. u get first 1gb at $20.. thats dead cheap, for the next gig its $100. on econet u wd spend $40 modem and $80 on the 1GB traffic. the running costs and quality of  connection will kill you. africom is very good service..#myhonestopinion

      Reply
    4. 3v0t3ch

      u need to find out what CDMA is to understand that, u cant compare 3G to CDMA, thats like comparing a dot matrix printer to a four-in-one LaserJet Printer. The diffrence is just too obvious

      Reply
  1. Wburwa

    Africom is obviously doing a good job, competition is healthy for any market. There are a few issues that I have got with their market penetration strategy or whatever. It would appear from these huge prices that africom are not really out to sale their services which are mobile internet and mobile telephony, instead they are placing emphasis on imported gadgets. How then do consumers adopt their services? The main idea would have been to push into the market as much of these CDMA phones as possible and make people enjoy using them. What really would be the point of 60 free minutes per month when you cannot afford the gadget that makes those calls. Its like a fuel station that offers free fuel for purchasing a very pricey vehicle. Offer an affordable vehicle and let people pay for their fuel. Another issue I have got is perhaps excusable for a young mobile firm. It is coverage. In Byo the service is just patched here and there and its been like that since the launch some 6 months or so ago. Africom, if you are serious which I believe you are, get more coverage in urban areas and remove the “barrier to entry” on your gadgets and services. Thank You.

    Reply
    1. ItaiManyere

      tru that charles. the devices save for the modem r expensive. their tarrifs are good manje. 5gb for $125 and 10Gb for just abt $200. compare with the competitors. it never gets cheaper..

      Reply
  2. Tinatore

    @ Murume Muhombe, the price for the Econet modem seems cheap but then in the long run the bundles are quite expensive,, considering the $18 per Gig every month. Adding on to that, the technology behind CDMA makes the Africom modem far much better than any ISP.  I am jus waiting to see any other technology which will surpass the CMDA. 

    Reply
    1. WiMAX, WCDMA, LTE

      Hi, have having been living in a cave for the past 5 years? CDMA has been surpassed by a great number of new technologies. 

      Check Wikipedia:-)

      Reply
      1. SONET

        please be specific , which CDMA are yu talking about? Are yu refering to 2G CDMA0ne or  3G CDMA2000 ?

        Remember that all 3G standards (UMTS and CDMA2000) use CDMA.

        CDMA is replaced by OFDMA in 4G

        Reply
      2. Tinatore

        thank you, but who is offering such services in Zim that’s my question.. I’m glad we now have something fast and working. I feel we should give Africom its chance to prove who they are and what they can do! who knows maybe we will be influenced to start using CDMA in the near future. 

        Reply
  3. JamesM

    Lousy branding by Africom. Selling a device with the logo of an overseas telco, Sprint in this case, tells you that Africom is groping about its way into the market rather than having a clearly focused marketing salvo. While some of us are Africom customers and thoroughly find their internet service adequate, their latest voice introduction has clearly demonstrated their lack of foresight in new product launch. Though ironically their broadband launch was preceded by a very good marketing campaign, now this? And where are they getting those prices for those devices? Not very well thought out I am afraid!

    Reply
  4. John Oxley

    To clarify, GSM and CDMA are cellular technologies.  CDMA is prevalent in the US having been created by Qualcomm.  As for data speeds, CDMA can support up to 2Mbps (EVDO) and GSM can only go up to 384kbps (Edge).  However both platforms have technologies that sit ontop of them to boost the speeds much higher (GSM: HSDPA, UMTS).  I don’t know what the CDMA technologies are called.

    The reason Africom are offering a Sprint HTC device is that Sprint Mobile in the US is a CDMA provider.

    In my opinion, the two biggest downfalls to moving to Africom for voice are coverage and incompatibility with GSM phones.  Having just bought a Motorola Atrix, I’m not going to throw it away and pay the same amount again for a CDMA phone.

    Another issue that is somewhat lessor but still important is the availability of roaming.  Africa, along with Europe and Asia have primarily GSM networks.  This means you cannot take your phone roaming with you and you will need to have another phone available for just that.

    Here is an old, but still relevant post on CDMA vs GSM technology http://www.cellutips.com/gsm-vs-cdma-which-one-is-the-best-for-you/

    And obviously there’s Wikipedia and Google that will tell you far more than you ever wanted to know.

    Reply
  5. Tinashe Manzou

    Hi everyone. Sorry for spamming the comment section. I just wanted to get some advice from real Zimbabwean tech experts on how I can best grow my small startup zimlocal.com which is a reviews site.

    You’ve heard of Yelp and city search etc. That was the kind of idea we were going for. But motivating and reaching out to Zim’s 1.4 mill. odd internet users has been an issue.

     We see traffic spike into the thousands whenever we launch an ad campaign and then settle down into the low hundreds after the honeymoon period. But these are just viewers, how can we motivate and attract a community?

    The site is free for all (I still need to remove the code for the paid option) and will remain free. We make money from (our very few) affiliate ads.

    I really need your help! Post here or on zimlocal.com and I’ll get right back to you

    Reply

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