“Can you imagine browsing Facebook using any handset? Now You Can!” If you saw this in a teaser advert in today’s paper you must have been wondering (like we were) what sort of service this was and from which operator. We have just established from sources from Econet that this is their new product, Facebook on [...]
This short series of 6 articles will cover the profiles of each of the six finalists that made it into the finals of this year’s ZOL Jumpstart Challenge to be held this Friday, 14 September. Startup: mTutor Year founded: 2012 Team: Douglas Chifetete, Prince Kaguda, Nigel Gambanga, Blessing Bonde mTutor was a winner of the Etxt Mobile Apps Challenge [...]
Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms firm, has changed the tariff model of its eTXT service from per message charging to a weekly and monthly subscription model. eTXT subscribers will now pay US 30 cents a week for unlimited messages, or, if they prefer, $1 for a month’s month. Previously, each eTXT message cost 2 cents. [...]
When last week I read on the internet that Google had launched Gmail SMS in Africa, I mostly ignored the news. I remembered reading something along the same lines some several months ago so I assumed Google PR was repurposing the ‘news’ or some international news organization had happened upon the old news and had [...]
Developers in Zimbabwe have just 8 days, specifically until next week Friday the 25th, to submit their eTXT apps for the ZeTXT Apps Challenge that has been going on since March. The challenge has presented local developers with an opportunity to develop mobile based applications for the eTXT platform available on the Econet network. The best app will win prizes and an opportunity to be launched on the Econet network to earn the developer ongoing revenue.
As you probably already know, the initial ideas deadline for the ForgetMeNot Africa ZeTXT Apps Challenge is near. By the end of this coming Friday, 4 May, all ideas must have been submitted via the eTXT Developer platform to be considered for the challenge.
It was just a few months ago, sitting with the CEO who had moved back into the country after working as a successful starter-up in the US. The interview part hadn’t started and I was shaking a bit (he had come to pick me up in a classy vehicle and drove me to his classy house so yes I’m not used to being so..I don’t know). He was narrating his experiences in the States and how you could earn big from the silliest of apps or nothing from a huge idea. Then he leaned forward, reached in his pocket and brought out a monochrome phone and said “If you want to be big in Africa, you can’t go wrong with mobile. This is the only way. The regular guy knows SMS…[bla bla bla]“. I nodded and shook (50-50). He was definitely not the first to tell me this, and wasn’t the last but I wasn’t and still am not convinced.
Last week we posted that ForgetMeNot Africa has opened up its eTXT platform to 3rd party developers and that the company launched an Apps Challenge in Kenya in partnership with iHub and Safaricom. Well, there’s another announcement this week, more specific to Zimbabwe this time.
You’ve probably used eTXT a number of times. If not you then at least someone you chat with on Facebook, on Gtalk or just someone you exchange emails with has used the service from a basic SMS only (no internet) mobile phone to communicate with you. ForgetMeNot Africa, the company behind the eTXT platform, has [...]
Yesterday, we got the opportunity to discuss a few things about Econet Broadband with Leon de Fleuriot, the Chief Commercial Officer – Broadband at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. We talked about the number of mobile broadband subscribers, eTXT, EconetMail and other things. We also discussed some issues Techzim readers suggested on our Facebook Page and Twitter.
We just got pointed to an update on the eTXT Facebook application page announcing the slashing of eTXT chat messages from 5 cents a message to 2 cents. Here’s a screenshot of the update.
ForgetMeNot Africa, the developers of the technology powering Econet’s eTXT service, have been nominated for an AfricaCom award in the Best New Service category.
The FMNA’s technology is called Message Optimiser and has been deployed by a total of 6 operators across Africa. Message Optimiser also powers the Dasuba service also available locally and across continent.
We have just been informed that Econet has begun running a Facebook campaign for its eTXT service. Econet has had some misses publicising and advertising its internet products but this one definitely looks executed quite well so far. It appears Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile operator has found some brainiac to guide them!
We came to know about biNu some several months ago when we wrote articles about eTXT. There was a lot of mention about it on our Facebook page. Readers compared it to eTXT and later Dasuba. The messaging component of biNu at least. I personally didn’t try biNu until 12 days ago, and what an impression it has left on me!
The stats we received from biNu are impressive too. biNu usage has grown rapidly in the country. According to the startup, just in the month of August 2011, biNu had in excess of 60,000 unique users, 1.9 million sessions and 22 million page views in Zimbabwe alone.
About 3 weeks ago, a contact at Econet informed us that Econet is launching a mobile version of the EconetMail service. The address is econetmail.mobi. We have since tried out. Our opinion is that it’s not a great product. In fact it’s just not a good product right now. See, the mobile version is just another face to what, at the core, still is a product with issues.
When eTXT launched in March this year we wrote “Econet launches eTXT, erases line between SMS and the Internet”. We wrote this because the application was another knife in the side for SMS. Yes, we want SMS to die. It’s super expensive for subscribers and belongs to a different era altogether.
When Econet launched eTXT in March this year, we praised the service for innovation in a space that no other provider is playing; linking basic mobile phones to internet services like Email, Facebook and instant messaging. With a mobile phone just capable of SMS and voice calls, subscribers could now effectively send emails, respond to chats and post to their Facebook wall.
The ForgetMeNot Africa system powering Econet’s eTXT service won a Meffy’s award last week in the category for “Best Innovation in a Mobile First Market”. In the category, providers of mobile services and applications are awarded for successful service models in regions of growth where consumers use mobile devices as their first and primary means of internet access.
According to ForgetMeNot Africa’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeremy George, the company is already processing hundreds of thousands of eTXTs a day from Zimbabwe just two weeks after launch on the Econet network. Approximately 35% of those are SMSs initiated from mobile phones to the Internet.
Jeremy George revealed this to Techzim in an exclusive interview we had with him yesterday.
A little more than 3 weeks ago, we reported that Econet was working to launch eTXT, an application that allows you to communicate seamlessly with Email, Chat, and social networks through basic SMS. The service was live when we posted the article but you could only access it if you knew it existed.
Google has announced through its Google Africa blog that it has launched Gmail SMS in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. In Uganda Google is working with MTN, Uganda Telecom and Orange, in Tanzania with Vodacom and in Malawi with Airtel and TNM. Gmail SMS has been around for some time in Africa. The service is currently supported in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Zambia.
Basically, Gmail SMS enables Gmail users to chat with mobile subscribers on any mobile phone capable of SMS, which is about every mobile phone out there.
Today, an email tip pointed us to a new product to be launched soon by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. We’re not sure what the product will be named but it can be found right now on www.etxt.co.zw and it’s already active.
The service allows you to use SMS to communicate seamlessly with Email, Instant Messaging (Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Facebook Chat) and social media networks like Facebook. It’s powered by a ForgetMeNot Africa application called eTXT.