Author Archives: L.S.M Kabweza

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 [...]

Twitter Analytics: Now you can know how your tweets perform

August 28th, 2014

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It’s been a while since I was excited about the usefulness of Twitter to businesses this side of the world. They have opened up Twitter Analytics to every Twitter account. Anyone can now check analytics.twitter.com to see which of their tweets performed well and which where ignored. You can see the impressions, the engagement (clicks, replies, retweets etc…) [...]

Dear Telecash… … How about this for improving the cash-ins?

August 27th, 2014

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We have been following your recent entry into the local market and the waves that it has created. Not too sure if we got to tell you this, but well done! Imagine our excitement when we found out earlier this week that you have zero-rated Telecash transfers to registered users, essentially encouraging the usage of mobile money. We’re sure [...]

EcoCash online payments through MasterCard

August 26th, 2014

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Recently Ecocash introduced the EcoCash MasterCard Debit Card that undoubtedly was a game changer, allowing millions of ‘unbanked’ people the opportunity to have the convenience of making payments anywhere and everywhere. Yes, the card works across borders, anywhere in the world they say and then there was the ‘possibility’ of making online payments. I went ahead and got [...]

AfrAsia kills the Kingdom CellCard mobile money transfer service. Replaces it with nothing

August 25th, 2014

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AfrAsia Bank has, through press statements (and we’re guessing communication to account holders as well), announced that they are killing the CellCard service at the end of this month. The service was a hybrid of mobile banking and mobile money launched sometime around 2009. It was evidently not doing that well and the bank had about stopped talking about it. [...]

Ghanaian mobile messaging startup, Saya, acquired by US company

August 20th, 2014

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You probably remember Saya Mobile, as one of the few African founded startups that have made it to TechCrunch Disrupt. Yesterday the Ghanaian startup just added one more unique achievement; they got acquired. By US based company called Kirusa which provides voice messaging and social media mobile apps in emerging markets. The announcement was made by Kirusa on its [...]

Liquid Telecom rolling out public DNS servers in Africa to improve internet speeds

August 19th, 2014

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Liquid Telecom, a source at the company has told us, is implementing an Anycast DNS platform in Africa for hosting of their domain’s DNS, but more importantly for us all, as public DNS servers for internet users across the continent. This, in theory at this moment, as we have not exhaustively tested it, simply means faster internet for people that choose [...]

Is Mobofree really growing strong? Their numbers just don’t make sense

August 18th, 2014

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Today, Mobofree, a social classifieds site based out of Lithuania but big in Africa, sent out a somewhat strange press release whose sole purpose was to announce that the marketplace website has US $526 million worth of items currently for sale and that they expect to reach US $1.5 billion by 2015. Strange because usually a marketplace’s value would [...]

Exclusive: EcoCash CEO, Cuthbert Tembedza, leaving Econet Wireless

August 13th, 2014

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We’ve confirmed via a number of sources that current EcoCash CEO, Cuthbert Tembedza, is leaving Econet Wireless. Tembedza is leaving Econet after about a year & a half and after leading the mobile money company through a period of tremendous success cementing EcoCash’s position as the undisputed leader in mobile money in Zimbabwe. We contacted Tembedza to learn more [...]

Zimbabwean tech entrepreneur Chingonzo, tells Obama sanctions are hurting startups

August 6th, 2014

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In a rare one on one stage interview he held with US president Barack Obama, Zimbabwean technology entrepreneur, Takunda Chingonzo, told Obama that the supposedly target sanctions against some political leaders in Zimbabwe were actually hurting ordinary people. Chingonzo said technology entrepreneurs looking to get technology or funding from US based companies often get hit a brick [...]