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Dandemutande has more on the way on top of Facebook powered Wi-Fi hotspots

Dandemutande, Utande

Dandemutande is probably the most soft-spoken internet provider in Zimbabwe. Most would be forgiven for thinking that the mobile internet, broadband and VSAT market only consists of ZOL and TelOne. This is of course incorrect because, in terms of market presence, Dandemutande is up there with the other players.

The company yesterday held a launch event for its Facebook Express Wi-Fi partnership. And at the ceremony CEO of Dandemutande, Never Ncube gave me and my colleagues in attendance more than we bargained for when it came to what the company has in store for the future.

Utande LTE

Dandemutande, earlier this year announced the launch of its subsidiary Utande’s LTE, a service that would come in direct competition with ZOL’s Wibroniks and TelOne’s Blaze LTE. When the service launched it started off quite well with coverage at 31 locations/areas.

Eastlea, Belvedere, Graniteside, Hillside, Ridge View, Avondale, Monovale, Sunningdale, Highlands, Ardbennie, Mbare, Sunningdale, Southerton, Lochinvar, Highfield, Willowvale, Houghton Park, Workington, Malvern, Prospect, Mainway Meadows, Grobbie Park, Eastlea, Athlone, Msasa, Greendale, Hatfield, Chadcombe, Queensdale, Highlands

The only gripe that most had with Utande LTE when it launched was that it was pretty expensive compared to the alternatives.

Data allocationSpeed (Mbps)Price (US$) per month
Supermaxuncapped5125.00
Megamaxuncapped10210.00
Gigamaxuncapped15295.00

This was a sticking point for a lot of people even though Utande was offering uncapped (with the package price difference showing for internet speeds). To remedy this the folks at Dandemutande just under a month after launch slashed the prices for the service by 18% which made the service a lot more appealing.

Utande LTETelOne BlazeZOL Wibroniks
Supermax:
5 Mbps
US$99.00
Blaze Superernova Uncapped
US$112.00
WiBroniks Nano Office
7Mbps
US$125

Wibroniks Home Unlimited
15Mbps
US$119
Megamax
10Mbps
US$210
WiBroniks Micro Office
10Mbps
US$185
Gigamax
15Mbps
US$295
WiBroniks Small Office
15Mbps
US$295

The price drop put Utande LTE, at the entry-level package, well below its competitors. And at yesterday’s launch event, Dandemutande CEO Never Ncube said that they are expanding coverage with 20 new base stations. Where this infrastructure will be located is yet to be known but more coverage is always good news.

However, the one thing that we are all patiently waiting for are capped or pay as you go packages.

Dandemutande fibre roll out

As demand for internet services has continued to increase. All operators in the space have been trying, under harsh economic constraints, to meet demand. Dandemutande, as quiet as the company is, hasn’t been sitting idle. The internet access provider is expanding its fibre network in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare.

e-learning

The penultimate revelation at yesterday’s launch event was primed by the company’s partnership from a year ago with InventXR offering an e-learning platform called iStudyXR. That partnership seems to have pushed Dandemutande towards more collaborations as we were teased yesterday with upcoming e-learning services that would cater for companies and software providers as they continuously training their staff and clients.

The growing cloud business

Dandemutande earlier this month joined the Console Connect ecosystem, which is powered by PCCW Global.

What this essentially means is that you can get Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and many others through Dandemutande.

So all in all an impressive display by the team at Dandemutande. It will be interesting to see what else they have in store for the future.

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