If you’re in Zimbabwe and checked the newspapers yesterday, you probably saw the Brodacom advert above. The advert claims that before Brodacom came along, setting up fixed broadband in Zimbabwe used to cost US $3,500 and that thanks to Brodacom, that figure has been brought down to US $99.50, the price of Brodacom’s Wi-Fi device for small businesses and individuals.
When Africom unveiled its mobile broadband service pricing last year in October it was to the delight of a market frustrated by exorbitantly priced internet (in the case of Econet) or just internet that didn’t work much (hello PowerTel). We commented then that on price Africom’s service was “by far a preferable alternative”. We still believe so.
Chips Computing Services, which represents Sage Pastel in Zimbabwe, was named top international Sage Pastel business partner for 2010-11 at an awards dinner held earlier this month at the Mount Grace Hotel in Magaliesberg, South Africa.
Orascom Telecom have ceased their fence sitting ways with Telecel Zimbabwe in a big way. The Independent reported on Friday that the company will pump in $70 million into Telecel Zimbabwe. This move is very significant for the company beyond monetary value as Vimpelcom (Orascom’s parent) has made a commitment to channel its global resources for the benefit of the local unit.
About two weeks ago, we received three mobile broadband (and one of them primarily a voice device as well) from the Spiritage Group company called Brodacom. We got the opportunity to test the three devices over about 6 days, which gave us a more or less clear picture of the performance. We tested the devices in the Harare city center, Alexandra Park in Harare (at the office), a Harare residential suburb called Tynwald North, the Bulawayo city center, and a residential suburb in Bulawayo called Morningside.
In Zimbabwe, those in tech (and banking) will remember 2011 as the year of mobile banking. Not in the sense of the use of mobile banking services by Zimbabweans, but more that it’s the year almost every financial institution and all mobile operators launched.
The guys over at Candid Consumerism posted last week that the Buy Zimbabwe people were being hypocritical telling everyone to buy Zimbabwean products yet Buy Zimbabwe itself is not. Buy Zimbabwe won’t eat its own dog food. Its website is hosted in the United States. If they were being sincere, the article says, they’d just host it locally; Buy Zimbabwe would just buy Zimbabwean hosting.
On Thursday last week IT professionals and Microsoft partners gathered at Rainbow Towers hotel to attend Microsoft’s first Open Door event in the country. The event was held by Microsoft to showcase their latest technologies especially those enabling companies locally to implement cloud computing.
Back in march when news first broke that ZimSwitch was working with Telecel to power mobile banking for local banks, the two banks that Telecel confirmed they were working with were CABS and POSB. CABS launched its mobile banking service (branded textacash) in September. As for POSB, ZimSwitch told us exactly month ago the bank was in “live pilot”. Through adverts in the press today, POSB has announced that its mobile banking service is available to the public.
We received the latest fibre map that Liquid Telecom presented recently at AfricaCom. The map shows what the terrestrial fibre network’s overall footprint in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and DRC. It’s not clear if all of this is completed but most of it surely is.
After we announced the launch of Huawei’s Ideos S7 Tablet in South Africa a few months ago and the company’s stated intentions to conquer Africa with affordable Android devices, Econet Wireless has come out with a double punch. The company has introduced the Huawei Ideos S7 tablet and the Ideos Google phone at $450 and $165 respectively.
Umuntu Media is on track to deliver on its promise as iZimbabwe.co.zw is now officially live. The company is making good of its $1 million war chest to build local portals across the region and appears to be in a state of continuous improvement. iZimbabwe.co.zw is the third portal it has launched after Namibia & Zamibia, both of which have gained traction.
A Southern Africa ICT for Education summit is set to be held in Zimbabwe in January 2012. The summit will be held under the patronage of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts & Culture and it’s being facilitated by AfricaBrains. Other sponsors of the summit include Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, NEC, and MacMillan.
Like us, you probably woke up to the news that Tendai Mahachi (Harare’s Town Clerk) announced that the City Council has suspended all fibre optic trenching activities in the city. The reason for this was attributed to a breach of agreement on the part of some telecommunications operators and their contractors.
Microsoft will on 17 November 2011 (tomorrow) host the Microsoft Open Door 2011 event in Harare. The event will be held at Rainbow Towers hotel and will run from 9AM to 1:30 PM. The target audience for the event is academics, IT decision makers and IT managers.
Tigo Africa is a part of Millicom International Cellular S.A. The company was founded by the Swedish conglomerate, AB Kinnevik and became one of the pioneers of mobile telephony. It began setting up its first network in 1979 in Sweden and went on to become one of the founding members of Vodafone. Over the last two decades, Millicom has evolved into an emerging markets telecoms operator with core interests in Africa, Central America and South America.
If you’re one to keep your ear on the ground about new local web based services you’ve probably already heard about dhiri.co.zw. You guessed right, it’s a local deal-of-the-day site offering discounts on products available at merchants. The site is by C2 Media, a local creative digital agency with offices in Harare, and in Australia.
One of my friends recently asked on her Facebook status why so many people deactivate their FB accounts when they hit a patch of uncertainty or depression in their lives. I am sure you’ve noticed how people take little holidays from the land of FB and then come back firing great guns like life is a bag of roses again. I can say that with all the sarcasm I want because I have done it too, so don’t hate my honesty!
We were quite pleased last week to learn that the Bulawayo chapter of the Computer Society of Zimbabwe (CSZ) is ready to hold its first ICT Expo on the 24th and 25th of November (Next week). Pleased because this is yet another opportunity for the industry to showcase the potential of ICT tools for existing business and more importantly for new solutions to some of the social and economic problems faced in the country today.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe just sent out a press release on the Liquid fibre project announced last week by Liquid telecoms. Here's a summary of new information in the release:
Whether you’re watching ZBC or Supersport the message is the same. Samsung, the Korean consumer electronics and white label goods giant is on a mission to become the top electronics brand across Africa. From the towering Ivorian colossus that is Chelsea’s Didier Drogba to positive images of young Africans marketing their products, Samsung is paying attention to the needs of the world’s last frontier.
Yesterday, Liquid telecom announced that it has completed phase one of a fibre network it’s building in Zambia in a joint venture with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC). The completed fibre so far stretches from the Zambian capital city of Lusaka to the Copperbelt.
The latest mobile subscriber stats from POTRAZ show that Zimbabwe now has a mobile penetration of about 64%. Really impressive if you consider that in 2009, the mobile penetration was just 24%. But every time that mobile penetration percentage is mentioned, there’s almost always need to clarify that the percentage may actually be misleading.
Mobile network monitoring and optimization solutions provider, Astellia, announced today that they have signed a EUR 1 million agreement with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. According to the announcement, Econet will deploy an Astellia solution to monitor network performance for its mobile broadband and voice services and will also have a team of Astellia consultants to provide expert support.
A number of people asked if they could get the presentations from the EMC cloud computing breakfast briefing we held last week. With the permission of the presenters, EMC, Utande and Realtime Bytes, we’ve uploaded them toSlideShare and made them downloadable (in pdf format).
Last week, Webdev opened its social network to the public. The name Social has been discarded in favour of a shorter and simpler sha.co.zw. SHA is short for the ‘Shamwari’, the Shona word for ‘friend’. There’s already some activity on the site, and I have received a few friend requests from some familiar faces.