In a positive development to Zimbabwe’s ICT sector, one of the 15 licensed IAPs has finally emerged. Dandemutande, a part of Telerix Communications (50% owned by Masawara PLC) published an advertorial to all local media outlining its current accomplishments and intentions. According to the release the company (under its Utande division) has connected to the SEACOM cable on the coast of Mozambique at a cost of $9 million. We believe this to mean that the company has a capacity agreement with Powertel for a fibre connection running to Mutare and into Mozambique. We recently listed the company as one of the direct beneficiaries of SEACOM’s agreement with Telecomunicações de Moçambique (TDM); this release appears to be an affirmation of this.
According to the release, the company expects its multiple interconnection agreements with national fibre optic carriers to give it access to customers nationally. It is also on record as having established a Tier 3 Data Centre. Tier 3 means that it will have multiple connections serving the equipment, critical backup and guarantee a 99.9% uptime to customers. It will enable the provision of co-location and cloud services to customers. The Data Centre is powered by Cisco technology with Cisco’s Head of Service Providers for Africa hailing the milestone as a “great achievement and another step forward in the region”. We recently publish a post highlighting the need for cloud computing in Zimbabwe, it appears that Dandemutande is positioning itself as a pioneer in this space.
Concerning core services, Dandemutande has acknowledged the possibility of rolling out 4G Wimax services that will include VOIP. It did not elaborate on this however we believe that its focus for the time being is data. On this note Russell Clinton (the company’s CEO) has given an assurance of changing the quality of service locally by providing “real world and real speed internet to all users.”
It is however disappointing to note that Dandemutande did not have an updated website up at the time of publishing this post. Anyone visiting www.utande.co.zw is met with a stone-age website listing 56kbps and dial up solutions among its services. The company needs to fix this PR blunder. It clearly has the capacity to do so (professionally). We are sure a fraction of the $15 million Masawara ploughed in could be directed to relaunching its website.
We expect Dandemutande’s promises of ‘minimum downtime’ and ‘real speed internet’ to be put to the test by consumers and challenged by competitors.