Today, Econet issued a press release to reassure customers they are not going to lose their Ecolife cover and that there’ll have another system running in place of the Trustco Mobile one whose agreement was terminated. The release doesn’t say much that Econet hasn’t already said in its public notices since Monday.
As you probably know already, Africom started an ad campagin for the launch of mobile telephony and some new data services last week. The full message of the availability of mobile telephony and the additional data services was made earlier this week. This morning, Africom sent us the tariffs for the new services.
There’s a growing appetite for mobile value added services (VAS) in the market. This is true for mobile network operators, developers and the mobile subscribers. Developers and entrepreneurs are seeing the opportunities that Zimbabwe’s (and that of African countries in the region) rising mobile penetration avails. Subscribers too are starting to use mobile phones in ways they did not before. The gadget has evolved into much more than just a device to make voice calls and send text messages. There’s internet, music, TV, file transfer, games, and most recently money transfer.
Trustco Group Holdings, the Namibian technology partner behind Econet and FML’s Ecolife life insurance product has terminated the agreement for the provision of the system. This has left Econet unable to add more subscribers to the service while they make a move to a new system.
In an increasingly globalised world, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has taken developing countries by storm. By consistently underpricing developed markets, thousands of jobs and opportunities are being created at breakneck speeds everyday. This article seeks to provide a bird’s eye view of the sector with regards to Zimbabwe’s shot at becoming a competitive hub on the continent and within the greater Southern Hemisphere. We’re not quite sure when exactly the BPO boom began, we are more than certain however of the fact that it’s a very lucrative sector to enter for entrepreneurs and this nation.
Going over reports from the ICT global conference held in Harare last week, we came across something that made us stop. It’s a report published by “The Zimbabwean” that basically says Broadlands Networks is preparing to launch a 5G network. Here’s an extract from the report:
At the “Thinking Global” ICT conference held in Harare two days ago, Econet disclosed the number of subscribers using mobile broadband internet services on its network. That number is a staggering 1.8 million. Staggering because that’s more than 30% of the total Econet subscribers (5,500,000).
Africom, one of Zimbabwe’s largest Internet Access Providers, has started what appears to be an advertising campaign for the launch of some new services. In the print press today, a tech company, which definitely is Africom (we’ve confirmed) has a teaser advert for some data and voice services.
Mobile broadband has had a huge positive impact on the connectivity landscape in Zimbabwe. There’s more choice now, more competition, and so many positive outcomes from that. It’s a watershed moment in the country’s connectivity history. Of course, right now the benefits are still clouded by the ridiculous mobile broadband pricing by some operators, but looking back to this moment, when enough competition has taken care of the pricing, it will all be clear just how much of a jump this is.
Gigatel, the company we wrote about in September last year when it launched VoIP services, has launched a new V-SAT hub in Zimbabwe. The new hub is a Shiron product and operates on C-Band frequencies. It was supplied and engineered by Gilat Satcom, a global satellite communications provider. The announcement was made through a press release on the Gilat website.
Joina City has freshened up Harare’s shopping scene; it’s good to note that top notch brands like Samsung have landed to serve the local market. Samsung’s aggressive foray into Africa is well documented as it is charging across the continent to address markets that other prominent brands are foolishly ignoring. Football fanatics (albeit Chelsea F.C fans) should vividly remember the brand’s ads that show up before particular matches, featuring three African master- players. Rather than focusing on the obvious popularity of football as a marketing vehicle, such ads show a perceived respect for African consumers by the brand. It’s only few tech brands that have designed ads specifically for the African market on a continental scale…
The Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has this week published a public notice advising the regulatory position on the usage of Wi-Fi devices. You can view the full notice here.
If you either hated history or fell asleep halfway through the lesson; Gondwanaland was a great big continental block that contained what we refer to as Africa, India, Australia, and other sub-continents. Its existence is based on theoretical assumptions related to the earth’s evolution.
Last week, Econet’s Namibian partner, Trustco Group Holdings, revealed that by 31 March this year, 1.6 million Econet subscribers had registered for the Ecolife insurance service. That’s more than 30% of Econet’s total subscribers. The information was made available at the announcement of Trustco financial results by Head of Corporate Strategy, Desnei Leaf-Camp. Here’s an extract of Leaf-Camp’s statement:
I’ve met more than enough Zimbabweans (geeks and ordinary humans alike) who feel that the local ICT sector is not up to scratch. When asked to specify what being “up to scratch” is, most immediately and rather animatedly set off an explosive cache of various beliefs, facts and figures. However correct some of the well informed opinion holders may be, there are a few cold facts that have rendered their sentiments to the confines of wishful thinking. They are as follows:
A few days ago we visited Dariro, a new startup building what we can describe as a ‘local pages’ web platform. The website is still in beta and it’s live on Dariro.com. The website also provides a platform for developers to build their own applications. The Dariro founder is Richwell Phinias, an internet marketing entrepreneur.
Winky D shot to stardom in a manner that left many recovering from his mesmerising impact. From the dusty streets of Kambuzuma he has risen to defy all established conventions by taking over local airwaves, entertainment systems, and many an iPod/mp3 player. Before his emergence, Dancehall was a niche genre for Rastafarians and hardcore fanatics; he has not only transformed this but created a very compelling mainstream brand.
Last week, a Harare company called William Over called us over to have a feel of the WeTab tablet, a device they just got exclusive reseller partnership for in the southern Africa region. The tablet is made by a German company called 4tiitoo. It was covered on international tech blogs like Engadget and arstechnica starting mid last year and got quite some positive reviews.
A Twitter friend pointed us to the dogreatthings.co.za resource the other day. This site is called Old Mutual Entrepreneurs guide. It provides a collection of lessons (you can call it wisdom) delivered by seasoned entrepreneurs. They basically share what they have learnt in their journey building successfully companies in Africa.
Earlier today, a guy sent us an email on our [email protected] address with the subject “Security Flaw - yo.co.zw” Here are the contents of that email:
At the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce symposium held last week, Twenty Third Century Systems(TTCS) Group Business Development Manager, Thandi Ngwenya presented on an interesting topic: Building a Pan African ICT Company. In the presentation Ngwenya says she shares some “5 key lessons that we have learnt in our journey to establish TTCS as a global ICT player.”
We saw the map below in Econet's financial results briefings for 2011 and thought to post it here. It shows the progress of the fibre backbone project that the largest mobile operators is working. As you can see, the section running from Harare through Bulawayo to Beitbridge is now fully operational. It also shows the fibre rings in Harare and Bulawayo have been completed.
This guest post was authored by Tapiwa Mapani. He’s not a trained geek and says “I just have a restless mind that makes me experiment with this type of stuff and most of the time to great success.” He has a wireless network setup at his home office which uses a mobile broadband USB dongle and a wireless router. He shares how you can setup a similar wireless network.
As Telecel announced the opening of its mobile broadband test to all subscribers yesterday, Econet posted colorful adverts in the newspapers declaring “Up to 50% off on broadband tariffs. Now you can enjoy more broadband for less.”
Starting last week, NetOne has been making statements in the press notifying Zellco NetOne subscribers that the relationship with Zellco, its service provider, has been severed. As a NetOne service provider, Zellco signed up new post-paid customers and collected revenue on behalf of NetOne for a fee.
Telecel customers with data capable handsets are now able to access data services as part of a new phase of Telecel’s data services preparatory pilot project. The latest phase, which began on Friday (May 13), is intended to enable Telecel to test its data services billing system and the national reach of its data services capability.