If there is a business sector in Zimbabwe that is really competitive it is the telecommunications sector. From the brand wars between TelOne and ZOL to data bundle races among the MNO’s, it is quite difficult to imagine the heads of these businesses in one room together let alone at the same table. Well, no need to imagine it: come see it for yourself at Broadband Economy Conference.
The key assumption of this year’s edition of the Broadband Economy Conference is that although the internet is impacting millions of Zimbabweans everyday, it has not yet been fully utilised as a business resource locally. The only predominant use for the internet for business in Zimbabwe is email. This should be embarrassing given how far we have come in terms of connectivity infrastructure.
Why is this so? Is it because our local businesses are not aware of how the internet solves a number of the headaches they are having right now? Is it because the local gate keepers to the internet: the telecoms companies are not in sync with the needs of business? Do the telecoms companies even know the immense potential value this resource called the internet hold for businesses? if they know, are they communicating this value clearly enough for their business clients?
These are the questions that we had in mind as we put together Broadband Economy Conference 2017 which will be held at Cresta Sango Conference Centre on the 20th of July 2017. We then decided to go to business leaders themselves to get them to ask questions they need answered by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
We then invited heads at the ISPs and MNOs in Zimbabwe to be part of one panel at Broadband Economy Conference where they will respond to these questions that have been raise by business leaders in other industries. The telecoms heads will also respond to questions raised from the floor on the day of the event. Some of the businesses that are eager to be in the same room with telecoms giants are start ups that have all kinds of questions from how do they get to collaborate with these companies to deploy new innovations to whether it’s true that the giants ‘steal’ startup ideas.
Today, you the Techzim audience get to ask your questions too. We are giving you the opportunity to pose any question you like to the telecoms companies. Some of these questions will then be asked on the day of the conference. However, we will only select questions that have something to do with how the ISPs and MNOs could contribute to the increased usage of the internet resource for business.
If you have a question to ask be free to fill in this form and your question. We may publish some of the questions this week as the conversation around Broadband Economy Conference 2017 builds up.