According to a notice in the Herald, state-owned mobile network operator Netone has applied for a national datacasting licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.The datacasting licence is one of ten broadcasting licences offered by the regulator.
Datacasting, or the broadcast of data, is a service that delivers information via radio waves in varied forms which include text, data, speeches and images to any receiver or equipment that can accept or process the information.
It usually works in the distribution on topical information in fields that can be as varied as traffic updates, weather, health, education and even retailing.
This looks like part of Netone’s efforts at improving their performance by providing a wider range of product services. Currently every network operator needs to and has been making attempts at expanding its product range beyond the declining voice call offering.
NetOne’s two competitors Econet and Telecel have been aggressively pushing data centric OTT services that include WhatsApp bundles and different Facebook promotions, lines of service which NetOne hasn’t offered on its own network. It has however been engaged in mobile money services which have provided a healthy revenue stream for local telecoms.
NetOne is likely to be leaning on its relationships with Chinese hardware and telecoms infrastructure giants Huawei in the roll out of this service.Huawei is already tapped to pick up Netone’s $218 million broadband expansion project which will focus on equipment upgrade and LTE service provision.