New Zimbabwean operator Viva Mobile gets green light to launch, confirms carrier relationship with Africom

Viva Mobile Zimbabwe

Viva Mobile, a Zimbabwean telecoms service that has been planning to launch as the country’s first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) has finally been given the go ahead by the industry regulator to start operating and will be going live in August this year.

According to Viva Mobile founder and CEO Dzidzai Chidumba, though they had anticipated a March 2016 market entry, they had to wait for final approval from POTRAZ, the local telecoms regulator.

In the meantime they had been operating Uhuru TV, a VOD service which will also be provided as a value added service for Viva Mobile.


Zimbabwe does not have any MVNOs and the regulatory framework that had been used for licensing new operators did not specifically accomodate such services.

POTRAZ has however worked on a converged licensing framework that will give room to operators that have specific services like infrastructure management as well as applications and content deployment via shared infrastructure arrangements.

As an MVNO Viva Mobile will be riding on existing telecoms infrastructure set up by another operator. Chidumba has confirmed that they are entering into this arrangement with Africom, something that they couldn’t reveal months ago even after some smart speculation from several observers.

This relationship does reveal quite a bit about Viva Mobile’s service in terms of coverage and network capabilities.

Africom, which operates on a CDMA network doesn’t have a footprint as extensive as competing broadband service providers, even in the city of Harare where all service providers generally focus more of their attention because of dynamics like market size.

This might create challenges for growth and competitiveness which would also affect options for service development, unless Viva Mobile enters into another infrastructure leasing arrangement with another provider.

POTRAZ has confirmed that there has been a growing interest from investors who are keen on exploring telecoms opportunities in Zimbabwe through MVNO licensing.

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12 thoughts on “New Zimbabwean operator Viva Mobile gets green light to launch, confirms carrier relationship with Africom

  1. I called it!

    Anyway lets look at the facts here
    Africom peak available speed per Mbps – 1.8Mbps if anyone has achieved anything higher I would be interested to know.

    Base stations that come and go as the wind blows – no generators. Not a good thing.

    I will be staying away.

  2. Yooooh,

    Are these guys seriously looking to make money and still be in business come 5 years?

    Africom cannot even sustain its own bandwidth requirements let alone some startup MVNO!

    1. Just to clarify Vavi. Viva Mobile has been around since 2015. We are not affiliated to any political party or Mr. Lumumba.

      1. Viva Team,
        Let me just be clear!
        Concept is brilliant. It looks great on paper. But what are you going to do differently that others have failed to do? Lets look at pocket rocket… the CDMA dongle that was $50 per month unlimited access. Lets not re-invent the wheel. I think what would have worked better in my opinion is if you had a tie up arrangement with Net*One on their LTE platform (barely utilized)

        1. Hi Fourwallsinaroom

          Please see our plans below:

          WILD FRUIT PLANS (prepaid monthly)
          Mazhanje 100 mins talk, 3GB Data $9.99
          Tsubvu 500 mins talk, 6GB Data

          Data Only plans (per month)
          Small (S) 2 GB $ 6.99
          Medium (M) 10 GB $ 14.99
          Large (L) 25 $ 25.99

          As to you LTE question, We are constantly trying to improve our service so we wouldn’t rule out any futher partnerships.

  3. I see this as a positive and motivating move. This is what we need. Zimbabwean’s are one nation who are always negative in every aspect of life. That is why we are where we are as the majority of people want to live feeling sorry for themselves and make up excuses not to go forward in life and make a difference.

  4. It looks like viva will be cheaper then Tel one. I will take up there Large if they come online. I just need more data than i am getting from Tel one.

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