Since ZOL came out with the story about its fallout with last-mile network provider Telecontract, we’ve been trying to get more details about the issue from the two. It hasn’t been easy. The Telecontract CEO, Shadreck Nkala, is said to be in meetings all day and all we get are promises that he’ll call back. Same thing with the ZOL CEO.
Can be frustrating this job sometimes! So, we’re left with no option but to go the informal route.
Anyway, we’re getting information that ZOL is in the process of moving all clients to Africom, the company bringing in the SEACOM fibre from TDM in Mozambique. Africom has established metro fibre and fixed WiMax networks in Harare and Bulawayo, and should be rubbing their hands gleefully right now. Where else would you get 200 broadband subscribers at once? This will also boost their image as a flexible and reliable access provider that subscribers can bank on in times of crisis.
Apparently, ZOL and Africom have been working on the logistics for a little under a month. What has delayed the migration is that Africom didn’t have the capacity to take on the 200 plus subscribers at one go.
As we write, technicians are busy installing more fixed WiMax bases stations to accommodate this sudden upsurge in subscribers (and business). Our source says they’ll take advantage of the Easter holidays to complete the setup and migration of customers.
Some subscribers are taking advantage of the free VSAT installation, offered by ZOL to alleviate the damage. We’re told it comes with a one year contract though.
For some reason, ZOL has taken down the http://www.zol.co.zw/telco page they had set up to provide updates to affected subscribers. The page just has single plain text line: “Up to the minute news on Telco saga” without the actual news. (Update (01 April 2010, 1247 GMT+2) : the page now has some content but the links to the press statement pdfs there are broken. 1258hrs, all fixed here it is: http://www.zol.co.zw/telco/press_statement_2.pdf)