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Press Release: Econet Wireless blocking Aquiva Wireless Voip calls

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Aquiva WirelessAquiva Wireless would like to advise new and existing customers that there is currently an ongoing interconnection dispute between ourselves and Econet Wireless. Due to this we are currently unable to guarantee calls terminating to Econet.

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In November 2012, Econet unilaterally blocked our calling card service. The calling card is a service where anyone around the world using their mobile or fixed phone places a call to our network access number and we give them the flexibility to make calls to other networks that are connected to Aquiva locally and internationally at affordable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Rates. The subscriber to our service enjoys affordable calling rates that we have, since VoIP has cheaper calling rates.

We have since approached the telecommunications regulator POTRAZ to mediate in the matter and we are hopeful that a solution beneficial to all will be reached soon. We are certain POTRAZ will resolve the issue in an amicable way as their mandate is to create a level playing field in the sector. As it is we have been heavily prejudiced, financially, and our subscribers inconvenienced by Econet Wireless’ actions.

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Aquiva through its subsidiary Algo has come to be in the forefront of providing cost effective solutions to the general public. Besides the calling card mentioned earlier, we have come up with services that eliminate roaming charges for Zimbabweans travelling abroad. The general public needs to enjoy benefits that technology is ushering in which is what Econet Wireless is resisting.

The company offers International Calling card services, fixed telephone services as well as Non-geographical number allocation in which anyone with a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop which has reliable internet connectivity on any network can now receive and make calls to other mobile devices, ordinary land-line or mobile phones. Mobile phone users, tablet, laptop and desktop users download and install a suitable app for their device from our website; subscribe for service using an online service registration form. Subscriber will be furnished with settings to install and they can make and receive calls from anywhere in the world as long as their device is connected on the Internet

Aquiva is currently connected to Econet Wireless and TelOne and all International networks. An Interconnection agreement has been signed with Telecel and should resume service by the end of February 2013. With our Wimax 4G Broadband and Metro Fibre coverage in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Beitbridge, Mutare and Chirundu as well as VSAT service nationwide, we are able to keep you connected.

In the meantime we thank you for your patience and ask that you bear with us as we seek to resolve this matter.

Source: Aquiva Wireless


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23 thoughts on “Press Release: Econet Wireless blocking Aquiva Wireless Voip calls

  1. Any repsonse from Econet as to why they decided to cut the service? Being a layman in such matters, I would imagine that Aquiva would be charged some sort of interconnectivity rate… or is Econet feeling revenue losses for roaming, hence cutting competition?

    Do you know?

    Do I know?

    …Tune in to our next episode of….

    1. I am also stumped? Y did Econet do it? Greed? Or do they think the “calling card” prejudices them.

      1. It prejudices them, because Aquiva are only paying Econet the cost of a local call, instead of Econet receiving direct international call revenue.

        1. Lets get the lingo right, it’s the price of a local call, not the cost of a local call, i.e. the price Econet is charging for a local/internatnl call isn’t the same as the cost of a local/internatnl call, the difference between the 2 is Econet’s level of greed, it’s time the customer got a better deal, aluta continua Aquiva!!! pasi neEconet

  2. From what i have learnt… dont go to war with EWZ… Aquiva probably owes EWZ money and will be embarrased once a statement is issued by Econet.

    1. Are you serious fourwalls? “dont go to war with EWZ”???? Im sure someone, with your mindset told Strive “dont go to war with PTC” Im pretty sure someone with your thought processes told HE RGM “dont go to war with the Rhodies”, need I go on? The bigger they are the harder they fall wangu. EWZ does NOT have an inalienable right to the telecommunications market in this country. EWZs progress thus far is purely a function of the competitors half-baked strategies read NetOne Telecel.

  3. I don’t know whats happening with the two operators and I’m not about to speculate. However, interesting thoughts come after reading this article and considering comments by tinman and Gari in full support of a new kid on the block. As a people we all want to be up to date and move with the times but as a developing nation, I wonder if we are timeously and critically reviewing policy before implementing some disruptive technology considering our stage of development and especially when it affects jobs. VOIP involving international calls is like a big brother forcing his way into your house through the use of touts that he pays change. Because we are relatively new on the VOIP scene, most new Zim providers are partnering foreign gateways and we should be asking who is benefiting. Its like buying Skype credit while in Zim to call Zim. Who is benefiting? I feel we need to be less gullible to every tech hype and think things through and implement policies that promote development of people not gadgets and services… I’m a tech fan but first and foremost, I love people and it hurts to see people shooting at themselves for the love of new imported technology. Econet needs to survive and continue to have a good enough reason to invest more and create more jobs. If we blindly continue on this self destructive path where we use imported services at any cost soon we will all have UK numbers, gmail accounts and Mastercards to pay the foreign providers…. who will need the local developer, telone, utande cloud etc when we can get better in US or UK…. My thoughts…. nothing serious.

    1. However, interesting thoughts come after reading this article and
      considering comments by tinman and Gari in full support of a new kid on
      the block.

      Feel free to point out my full support when time avails

    2. Although here your argument sounds plausible on paper, in practise it has no merit. Disruptive technology is what keep the techworld going.

      Take for example your skype argument, l totally disagree with your assessment from the user perspective. Econet does not offer free unlimited internet access to every user. lnfact, it is the most expensive and unfriendly provider when it comes to data packages.

      Now, skype is a monster when it comes to data chewing, so wether people buy it from abroad and use it local does not matter because Econet will still profit massively from there outrageous data internet charges.

      Here is how, when lm abroad, l call family back home. For a dollar on skype, with current data charges l get about 30min talk time, on fring or nimbuzz l get around 70min. So clearly econet does get there roi coz l like using them, other isp network is rubbish.

      Why is it wrong now for a new technology to come into play and make the incumbent jump??

      When Masiwa was fighting to get a licence for mobile comms do you think PTC was smilling for a new kid in town, welcoming it with warm friendly hug? During those days econet was being a disruptive tech, imagine if the gvt was able to stop him and we will be stuck with PTC up to now. lmagine all the talk of reasons why telone cannt bring landlines to your home.

      l also find your answer lacking real world clarity. Econet is digging fibre everywhere. When you make a call from your mobile, that call will be received by a base station which feeds it into the backbone network and get routed.

      This backbone network is all IP and l know for a fact that in that backbone Econet is using MPLS.

      QoS comes into play to separate your call from other less delay sensitive traffic, and thru the magic of nbar, your call is classed as guess what! VOIP.

      ln short, econet is using that dispruptive technology they are assumed to be trying to block others from using.

      1. here is some news before I comment:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/feb/01/google-52m-fund-help-french-publishers

        You do have a point.. in other words

        1) disruptive technology keeps the world going forward,

        2) econet uses and offers VOIP and

        3) yes Skype usage could be a good revenue stream for bandwidth providers including telcos like econet.

        It might be good to remember that skype only started making sense in Zimbabwe when telcos started investing in fibre using revenue from voice and they still have a long way to go as not many of their clients can do video calls because networks are still under construction. As much as we may want these services….. Skype will not fund our network development though we get skype via some network.

        Telone/PTC was a local feud and a local won and everyone was happy.

        My argument is not on whether or not we adopt a technology but its about methodology, pride and incubating a local solution(not necessarily reinventing the wheel) that develops the local people so that they do not continue on a cut and paste kind of consumerism but also count as solution providers.

        My google/french link demonstrates my view where it is important to adopt solution policy in such a way that local people benefit and get a chance to develop themselves….

        Internet turned our world into a so called ‘global village’ connected by multiple bidirectional highways and its no secret that most highways lead to the west (US and Europe) with huge and expensive carriageways with countless ‘lanes'(STMx) much more than links among ourselves and we all know where all the traffic goes. Some countries have been demonized for putting in place seemingly restrictive policy to these highways but has anyone not noticed that they have in the process made their own local billionaires comparable to the likes of Mark and larry with similar services.

        Here is my line of thinking:
        -Pride in our brands
        -People skills development
        -International presence and recognition

        I use plenty imported technology if not 99% but because my pride has been battered so much I can hardly see or find myself in this village, I’m looking at how policy can effect some change to protect the little local hope I have so I can find somewhere to start because I may never get a chance to walk into a Skype Data Center to see whats going on.

        All flaws, mistakes and shortcomings of our telcos are our only learning experience, the last thing I need is AT&T barging in to give me a service without transferring any skills rendering me a USER.
        My Pride = I love Econet|Telone|ZOL|Techzim|Utande|Telco because these guys teach me a lot.

        1. Within the context of the article: isnt’ Acquiva a local telco? Wouldn’t this also qualify as ‘a local feud’?

          Because we are relatively new on the VOIP scene, most new Zim providers are partnering foreign gateways and we should be asking who is benefiting

          When Econet wireless started, they partnered with more than a few foreign [equipment makers|financiers|engineers|advisors]. Did we need to ask who was benefiting then?

          If we blindly continue on this self destructive path where we use imported services at any cost soon we will all have UK numbers, gmail accounts and Mastercards to pay the foreign providers…. who will need the local developer, telone, utande cloud etc when we can get better in US or UK…. My thoughts…. nothing serious

          I don’t think it’s self destructive: why should we identify with these corporations? If the dinosaurs cannot compete (on a global stage), I say let them die, and let newer, nimbler companies arise from the ashes. Who says we can’t have our own (not-Skype) data centers? These sluggards need a fire lit under them (by way of international competition)

          The only thing I’ve learnt from our telco cartel is that gauging customers is fair game, after all, where are we going to run to? As you might have figured from my tone, I’m not proud of that at all.

          The only reason VOIP is still ‘new’ is because of the ridiculous bureaucracy. What we need is measured deregulation of the telcoms space (akin to the one made in the urban transportation). The regulators clearly cannot keep up with the pace at which telecoms technology is progressing.

          1. That’s refiling Tapiwa, What Acquiva is doing is illegal, they are prejudicing ECONET. The global village we are in unless protected and managed well by the Local regulation authorities can lead to the folding of our celebrated local telco Companies . These small companies offering services under the name Telco v2 are nothing but opportunist. Imagine the acquiva case, they just provision a number and give it to customer job done(middle man), and all the foreign traffic that comes into their network will be terminating in EWZ, TZ or Netone network. So who is benefiting??food for thought. I would salute them if they offer the calling card exclusive anly to acquiva on-net callsand see if they will like it…i dnt think so

            1. Are they not paying the respective networks the due termination fees? If so, I see nothing prejudiced going on: if EWZ & co. think their current termination rates are too low, then they should raise them across the board (including local calls). Nothing is stopping any of them from leveraging the cost-effectiveness of IP. International call routing (and calling cards) predates IP telephony.

            2. There is no such thing called refilling is a term that POTRAZ & GSM companies came up to protect their international revenues.Now with the advent of VoIP using SIP protocol which is an end to end technology calls can start and take any ROUTE to any destination.Econet is protecting its monopoly..Liquid caries traffic for Econet.So Econet does not want competition on the international traffic but want to be the only ones.Fat chance.They have a licence for GSM in Zim.But they dont own people in the UK.Econet has started a war it will never win.We terminate and bring in traffic on a daily basis and DONT need any permission from anyone to do this .How would u feel if Gmail told you ONLY to use Googe ISP to send email ? I have material on how to set up a successful VoIP termination business.Just email on zolatel@gmail.com

          2. When econet partnered with foreign providers, there was a lot of skills transfer to a point where it was Zim engineers that participated in the setup of Econet Nigeria and continue to prove themselves on the global stage. I’m not against Aquiva, a local telco, but hope their tech operates within regulation and policy keeps a check for sustainability

  4. Actually what Aquiva is going is completely illegal, landing international traffic and then refiling it through to the mobile operators. They even admit they are doing it. Lets see if Potraz actually does something to enforce the law or just ignores it as usual.

    1. “Actually what Aquiva is going is completely illegal, landing
      international traffic and then refiling it through to the mobile
      operators” – boo hoo hoo….oh its very legal my friend, whats illegal is Econet’s billing system based on their “lets milk these Zimbos dry” philosophy, are you going to charge WhatsApp for eating into Econets sms/mms revenue, will you charge Viber for gobbling up Econets voice revenue at around 2 cents a minute to anywhere in the world (based on data plan cost of $50/gb), thats what happens when you base your network on the old circuit-switched voice network then introduce data services without an internal plan to harness rich communication services to counter IP-based over-the-top players like Viber – you are reduced to just a dumb data pipe for third party services

  5. Econet sets up infrastructure. Econet make interconnectivity agreements with international and local networks.

    Aquiva lands international calls via IP, then connects them to Econet at local rates.

    Econet loses revenue from international calls, yet still connects same calls on their network at local rates.

    Econet disconnect Aquiva, because Aquiva are trying to be clever and reap where they haven’t sown.

    Not rocket science.

    I’m all for VoIP cos it’s cheap, but VoIP providers should provide their own networks and infrastructure and sell their own product, not sell INTERNATIONAL CALLS TO ECONET at LOCAL CALL RATES.

    It’s called business.

  6. Refilling is a word only available in Zimbabwe and defined by Econet. The Calling Card is used everywhere else in the world. When I was in China, I used a calling card to call back home rather than my China mobile line. It’s meant to be cheaper because of the IP part of it. If Econet is terminating Skype calls, Liquid is pushing minutes through Econet and ISPs like ZOL selling Skype credit (that actually call Econet), why can’t a legal, license fee-paying company like Aquiva run a LEGAL calling card service?

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