Author Archives: L.S.M Kabweza

Econet announces acquisition of Telecel Globe operations in Burundi and CAR

October 20th, 2014

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Econet just sent out a press release on the acquisition of Telecel Central African Republic and Leo Burundi. Essentially they confirm the acquisition as announced by Vimpelcom earlier today. In the release, Econet avoids the name “Telecel” completely, referring to the operations as just “assets” of Vimpelcom in Burundi and C.A.R. There’s also no mention [...]

Breaking News: Econet buys Telecel

October 20th, 2014

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VimpelCom, the parent company of Telecel Globe, has just announced via a press release that it has sold all its shareholding in Telecel Globe to Econet Wireless Global for US $65 million. Effectively, the release says, Econet Wireless now owns U-Com (or Leo, what Telecel is called in Burundi) and Telecel Central African Republic.  So yes, the deal does not include Telecel Zimbabwe. The [...]

POTRAZ will not force MNOs to reduce data tariffs. To let market forces regulate

October 19th, 2014

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With internet out-of-bundle prices ranging from US 7 cents (NetOne) to 15 cents (Econet) per megabyte, Zimbabwe’s data tariffs are considered relatively – to the average incomes that is – high. This however, a directive to MNOs issued by POTRAZ last week suggested, is not high enough to warrant POTRAZ’s intervention. POTRAZ will, for now, leave data charges to [...]

Econet, Telecel, NetOne ordered by POTRAZ to slash mobile voice tariffs

October 18th, 2014

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Zimbabwean mobile operators, Econet, Telecel and NetOne have been ordered by the telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, to slash mobile voice tariffs from the current US 23 cents per minute to 15 cents. According to a report in The Source, the directive was issued on 16 October this week and MNOs have been told to effect this in December. [...]

Of connected cars, SMS, and revolutionary products by Econet

October 16th, 2014

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Today, I opened an email from Econet titled “Econet Wireless has launched yet another revolutionary product, the Econet Connected Car.” I had just heard from people that attended the launch that it had been one of the best product launches they have ever attended. That the company was on point about what it was fixing. I [...]

In Zimbabwe, you can buy a “WhatsApp Phone”

October 10th, 2014

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Came upon this recently in Harare. These guys sell SIM cards, phone accessories, and phones. WhatsApp has become the single most important thing on the phone it doesn’t matter anymore to say what phone brand it is. Or whether it’s an Android phone or not. It’s just a “WhatsApp Phone”.

Some fascinating facts about internet services stats in Zimbabwe

October 8th, 2014

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Yesterday, we posted the the latest Zimbabwe internet subscriptions statistics that POTRAZ, the telecoms regulator in Zimbabwe, released. There are some interesting facts apparent in the subscription trends locally. Here are the ones we picked. Note that these are stats for the quarter ending June 2014. 1.   Dial-up is not dead If you thought dial-up internet was dead, you [...]

Here’s a list of Africa’s Video on Demand & pay TV providers

October 7th, 2014

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Recently, we wanted to quickly refer to pay TV and Video on Demand (VOD) providers in Africa for an article we were working on, and found that we couldn’t find the information we needed in one place. So we just decided to start putting the information we’re coming across here in this article. The list is [...]

Zimbabwe’s internet penetration almost 50%. More than 99% of that is mobile

October 7th, 2014

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According to data sent to us by Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, Zimbabwe’s internet penetration is now 47%. The total number of internet subscriptions in the country as at the end of June 2014 was 6.1 million, up from 5.6 million in March this year. The most remarkable but still obvious thing from these stats, as usual, is the number [...]

Here’s what the new airtime tax means if you’re a Telecel subscriber

October 7th, 2014

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Remember the new airtime tax that the Zimbabwean government announced last month. Operators, starting with Telecel today, are saying how they will factor it into their pricing, and predictably, that tax is being passed on to the subscribers. A statement the operator posted today reads: Please not that due to the recent 5% levy on airtime Telecel will [...]

African pay TV & fibre operator, Wananchi, raises $130m for regional expansion

October 6th, 2014

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Today, a group that seems to be Sub-saharan Africa’s largest triple play (internet, TV, and voice) service provider, Wananchi, announced that it has raised $130 million to expand its operations in countries in the region that include Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and its home, Kenya. This probably means that in countries like Zambia where Wananchi’s brands had limited market visibility, we will [...]

Econet’s EcoSchool to launch tomorrow. What you should expect?

September 30th, 2014

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We just received an email from Econet inviting us to the launch of EcoSchool. But EcoSchool was launched 8 months ago, we can hear you say. That actually was a pilot launch. Just a really big one. The pilot was supposed to last 4 months but clearly ended up eating up double the time. According to the email [...]

Microsoft in deal with Zim government to “simplify & standardise systems”

September 24th, 2014

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A report by Finx today says that Microsoft’s President for Microsoft Middle East & Africa (MEA), Ali Faramawy, is currently in Zimbabwe to forge a partnership with the government so they can “to simplify, standardise as well as integrate [Zimbabwean government ICT] systems.” On what work the software giant will do, Zimbabwe’s top tax man, Geshem Pasi, is quoted in the [...]

ZOL Zimbabwe gets new CEO, Denny Marandure

September 24th, 2014

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ZOL Zimbabwe, the Liquid Telecom owned ISP which is one of the largest locally, has just announced the coming in of a new CEO, Denny Marandure. Marandure will take the place of outgoing CEO and founder of the internet company, David Behr, who, we were told by the company will now become chairman of ZOL. The company also said Behr [...]

Telecel Zimbabwe loses 130,000 subscribers in three months. What lies ahead?

September 18th, 2014

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Second quarter financial results released by parent company, Vimpelcom, show that Telecel Zimbabwe just lost 130,000 active subscribers in the 3 months since the first quarter of the 2014. Considering the company had lost 111,000 subscribers in the first quarter, this means a collective 241k active subscribers lost so far this year. In the second quarter Telecel had 2,329,000 subscribers, down from [...]

Internet Access Providers ask POTRAZ to review VSAT landing rights fees

September 17th, 2014

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Internet Access Providers this week asked the regulator of the telecoms sector in Zimbabwe, POTRAZ, to zero rate the VSAT landing rights fees in view of the modern possibilities of landing VSAT very cheaper using technologies like KA Band. The current $1,500 annual fees levied by the regulator is making internet access needlessly expensive in remote areas that technology like fibre [...]

Zimbabwean websites hacked. Joomla fault or just poor security management?

September 16th, 2014

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So every now and again we get tips about local websites that have been hacked, defaced or compromised in one way or the other. In the past few days, there was an increase in such tips as quite a number of websites, most of organisations very well known, were compromised. As has been the case in the many previous cases we’ve [...]

ZOL introduces $89 fibre package… doubles speeds, but re-introduces capped internet

September 12th, 2014

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So, until now ZOL’s entry price for fibre has been $149 which, if you’re like me, is a wait-for-cheaper price. That price has come. This week, ZOL announced via their social media pages that the entry price now is now $89. ZOL being the preachers of uncapped $89 is an unbelievably great deal for uncapped fibre. But it’s not uncapped. This service is capped at [...]

Zim government introduces 5% tax on mobile airtime

September 11th, 2014

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An announcement made today by Zimbabwean minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, says the government will, from 15 September onwards now charge mobile operators 5% excise duty tax on airtime. Effectively this likely increase the cost of making a phone call in Zimbabwe. The announcement was made as part of the government’s 2014 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review Statement (which you [...]

iWayAfrica’s expensive VSAT vs TelOne’s. Selective application of licensing rules?

September 11th, 2014

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So about two months ago we asked an official from the Postal and Telecoms Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) about what was apparently the selective application of VSAT licensing regulations. TelOne, a government owned fixed line operator, introduced cheap VSAT in May this year, but it later turned out it was cheap because, unlike the competition, they are [...]

Zimbabwe introduces 25% customs duty on mobile phones

September 11th, 2014

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Patrick Chinamasa, the minister of Finance, announced today that the government will now start levying 25% customs duty on mobile phone handset imports with effect from October 2014. Since August 2009, duty on mobile handsets and computers (essentially ICT gadgets) had been waived in a move to increase access to information technology. In the announcement Chinamasa explained the [...]

uMAX to offer free internet usage at night, for existing customers

September 6th, 2014

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We just received information from our sources suggesting that uMAX are finally making some changes to their internet package. The ISP, we’re told, will offer some free internet at night between 10Pm and 6AM – the time that everyone’s asleep. This is the first big change the ISP has made to their offering since they shook the [...]

Jive Zimbabwe launches online music platform..Again. Will they succeed?

September 1st, 2014

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You may have read an article in yesterday’s Sunday Mail (and last week’s NewsDay actually) about a new online music distribution site for Zimbabwean music called Jive Zimbabwe. They are here. This is actually not the first time Jive Zimbabwe has “launched” so it should be a relaunch really. The first launch happened almost two years ago [...]

Huawei and MTN claim successfully testing fastest & most intelligent fibre

August 28th, 2014

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In a press release sent out today by global telecoms giant MTN, them and Huawei claim to have achieved a major milestone in the global telecommunications industry by successfully completing tests of what is “currently the fastest and most intelligent optical network to date in the industry”. Using MTN’s backbone fibre in South Africa, the two companies [...]

TelOne removes ADSL internet speed expectations for home users

August 28th, 2014

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If you are a TelOne ADSL home user you may want to know that TelOne doesn’t want you to associate your internet package with any expected speed anymore. On the company’s website, the home packages are now showing without the download/upload speed indication. Essentially, whatever speed you’re getting, that’s just it. See website screenshot above. On why they are [...]