Two months ago, the relationship between Zellco and NetOne came to an end. NetOne severed ties with Zellco following a payment dispute. Zellco, a value added service provider, was essentially the middle man between NetOne and its customers, signing up new post-paid subscribers and collecting revenue on behalf of state owned mobile operator. Then, we posted an article titled “NetOne cancels Zellco contract. What next for Zellco?”
A few days ago, the ‘what next’ became clear. A new company called Contravase has emerged in Zellco place. According to communication received from Big Chitima, the entrepreneur behind the company, Contravase has taken over Zellco’s assets and distribution network.
Contravase will distribute mobile phones and Econet lines. In essence, with the NetOne partnership officially over, the company is courting a new partner. It’s not clear yet just what kind of ties the two companies will have on the ground, or indeed if the relationship will be as deep as Zellco had with NetOne.
According to the company, the name Contravase is derived from the wording ‘contract and value added telecommunications services’.
Contravase notes that although there has been a massive expansion in mobile penetration, the market is far from saturated and that “the market requires increasingly sophisticated and customer-driven service providers”, a space the company intends to fill.
Contravase’s operational sites will be premises formerly occupied by Zellco, starting in Harare and eventually spreading to other centres across the country.