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The New Red Africom, Mobile Broadband and Voice Services

New Africom LogoEarlier today, Africom officially launched its new branding at a function held at the Meikles Hotel in Harare. The central theme of the new Africom is connectivity, converged connectivity. We mentioned a few days ago that this was going to happen.

Africom founder and CEO, Mr. Kwanayi Kashangura announced at the event that over the next few weeks, starting Monday 13 September, Africom will launch a number of advanced telecommunication services on the market. Starting with mobile broadband on Monday, Africom will make an entry into the mobile voice market.

There are currently only three players in the mobile voice market, namely Econet (the largest of them), state owned NetOne and Telecel (the second largest by subscriber numbers). Africom is clearly boldly gunning for a piece of this pie.

Mr. Kashangura explained that all the services will be converged and managed through a single switching system.  “We have set up the most advanced network in the country. We have removed the barriers that distinguished telecommunication services. Our is just a converged network. It’s not a voice network, or a data network, or a mobile network,“  he said.

The converged services will be managed on the same billing system and subscribers will get a single bill for all the Africom services they use.

On coverage of the mobile broadband services, Africom indicated that that the greater Harare is already covered except Mabvuku, Tafara and Chitungwiza, which will be covered ‘soon’. Other cities and towns will also be covered in the coming months. These include Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Kadoma, Marondera, Rusape and Mutare. In other words, the highway from Bulawayo to Mutare.

The Africom CEO also added that Africom has built capacity to provide the necessary customer support through a “state-of-the-art” call center built at the Social Security Centre (NSSA) in Harare.

We had the opportunity to discuss the future products with some very friendly people from Africom and we hear broadband and voice packages with names like MiChoice, MiHome and MiBudget will be launched. On most of these packages, subscribers will get a ‘Data Card’, a CDMA mobile handset, a SIM card, a phone number, an email address and fax number among other things.  Doesn’t say much right now but looks like Africom is on to something here.

Africom head of sales and marketing, Ms. Rudo Mudavanhu made an Interesting promise to subscribers during the function: “You will not experience dropped calls on our network”!

The next few weeks will definitely be interesting. Impressed so far.

What is not so impressive is that, at a time when Zimbabwe is excited and looking for more information, Africom decided to take their site www.afri-com.com down. We think Africom should have been ready with the a redesigned and re-themed site to complement the for red campaign. I guess the web is not that important to them. Talk of wasted opportunities!

UPDATE (21 sept 2010): the redesigned site was finally switched on, on 20 September 2010. After some 2 weeks!


Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

17 thoughts on “The New Red Africom, Mobile Broadband and Voice Services

  1. Finally some welcome competition in the industry. Lets hope their pricing scheme, packages and network quality caters for everyone from students to corporate executives. If all goes according to plan with this Africom thing, then I can safely bet I’ll be rushing to them to get away from this inconsistent and painfully slow econet ”3g” that makes dial up look like fibre-optic.

    Can’t wait for more info on speeds etc…Any thing round 128-256kbs would be fine for me.

  2. Good for the competition hey, but Africom should be very prepared to make something called “mobile technology” not just covering Harare.

  3. i certainly agree that “mobility” should not be only confined to Harare coz there are people who also require these services who live outside Harare.

  4. Yeah,I ve seen the likes of Econets,telecel have found a new competitor,Thumps up Africom,we where tired of substandard services,and i have seen you have engadged one of the biggest consulting companies in southern africa RubieM…

  5. The “New”.. Africom.. whats new about Africom??? Why re-brand… its because of the poor services they are known of… They are not even paying us. Please customers dont be fooled..

  6. Africom has nothing to offer… dont worry.. as long as they havent bought any new infrastructure.. they got nothing to offer..

  7. I am currently testing the new africom 3 G modem,i dont want 2 lie its 3G for real ,m luvin it haterz say what eva u want 3G has arrived thanks africom….

  8. Tonde, how did you get the Afri-com 3G??? Is it now publicly available and if so, how much does it cost? What range of speeds are you really getting? Go to http://www.speedtest.net to find out…Im sooo very keen on dumping econet!!

  9. I was just checking that yesterday and they were saying its US25 per gig (Africom CDMA). This is just but expensive. I would rather opt for the ecoweb 4g..Have u ever tried this guys. Ecoweb 4g is a real perfect technology guys. That’s real broadband. Econet has just brought something big…don under rate it

  10. Haven’t tested the Africom stuff but frm experience my work internt is always down coz Africom link is forever down. Ecoweb 4G works superfast and you can actually watch video clips without waiting for the spooling especially off peak hours.

    My only problem with Ecoweb’s 4G is i can’t send emails wit attachments from both Outlook and webmail 90% of the time.

    At least competition is welcome to address quality issues.

    Econet’s 3G is useless. I dumped it way back for 4G. Agree that it makes TeloNe dial up look like fibre optic.

  11. Why rebrand? so that they can start paying you. If you are not a part of the team then find another job. How can you say that about the place where your bread is being buttered. You need to refashion your words and examine the extent of your actions. If you dont wana work there no more then beat it. How do you expect to get paid when you are chasing willing payers away?

  12. We’ll wait and see. post-hype era is when we really get to see how good their services are. My advice is that if you have the money to buy the dongle, go on and dive into it. It may be a worthwhile investment considering that they are in the “scramble for fibre”. So, soon they’ll be connected to SEACOM(or is it EASSY?). Since you’ll be dealing with them directly (read as “no middle men!!”), it may be promising.

    I think key thing is that the monopoly enjoyed by those “inspired to RIP YOUR WORLD” will slowly crumble. In a way, you will be rest assured that Econet will improve its service. If Telecel is what people anticipate it to be…with the yellow guys behind them, then they’ll all be soon fighting for us to subscribe.

    We all yearn for that day.

  13. I think all the attention has suddenly shifted to africom econet started slowly digging it’s grave for some time now i cant help but even notice instead of concentrating on service delivery they spent money on advertising, buying cars etc.

    Maybe it’s too quick to judge they (econet) were talking of changing all their infrastructure to fibre with the hopes that by mid october it will be done we will wait and see.

    My only question is What happened to netone? With the level of change going on those guys will be left in the stoneage

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