Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Econet Posts Network Upgrade YouTube Video

You’ve probably been wondering what Econet’s been up to lately. Or maybe you heard but wished you could get an inside look into the “90 Base Stations in 90 Days” work. Or maybe like me, you’re just curious to know the kind of work that goes into building a base station.


Econet Uses Prizes to Entice Subscribers to Register Lines

Econet has started a new promotion to persuade subscribers to register their mobile lines. There have been concerns that mobile operators will not meet the POTRAZ August deadline and already Telecel has asked for a push of the deadline.


POTRAZ Tells Mobile Phone Users to Register Lines or Risk Disconnection

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has issued a notice to all mobile phone users to register their mobile lines by 31 August 2010.


Baby Juice Card, The New 50c Airtime From Telecel

Telecel Zimbabwe, the country second largest mobile operator, just launched a new airtime card dubbed Baby Juice Card. The card costs US 50 cents and includes 50 cents bonus airtime on top of that for calling other Telecel numbers.


TelOne Has 15km of Fibre to Mutare And Is “Progressing Well”

This week, the Herald carried an interesting article on the national fibre backbone project. Carefully titled “Laying of fibre optic cable progresses well” the article disclosed that TelOne, the country’s only fixed telecom operator is digging a fibre cable trench to Mutare.


Telecel Submits Indigenisation Proposals

Yesterday we received an interesting press release from Telecel. Normally we just go over the press releases and fish out the newsworthy stuff and give you our take on the issue. Yesterday’s press release is different.


Telecel introduces call-me-back facility, missed call alert, and adds more countries to cheap call destinations

The country’s second largest mobile operator, Telecel Zimbabwe, has introduced the call-me-back facility. The ‘CallMeBack’ allows a subscriber to send a free text message to another subscriber requesting them to call back. To date, only Econet had the facility enabled on its network.


When Econet’s 3G Will Open To All Subscribers

Since Econet launched 3G on it’s network last year in August, the services has had more than a few problems. First it was that 3G itself was only limited to the greater Harare.


Google Switches On Street View in South Africa

It’s official, you can now walk around South Africa right from your computer.


The Era Of Ultra Fast Ubiquitous Broadband Coming To Zim: The Cyber Security Concerns

Currently there are so many initiatives and developments by some of the big players in the networking and mobile industry in Zimbabwe such as Econet, Africom, AfricaOnline, MWeb, Powertel


PowerTel’s International Fibre Connection and the Expectation of Broadband Price Slashes

PowerTel Communications, officially launched its Internet bandwidth provision agreement with Botswana Telecommunications (BTC). The agreement was signed in March this year and is for the provision of 155mbps of Internet bandwidth to PowerTel.


Econet Relaunches Buddie With International Roaming

ECONET Wireless has relaunched its premier prepaid package, Buddie, loaded with a new bouquet of value added services, including the country’s first prepaid roaming service.


Africom Launches VSAT Teleport Hub

One of the biggest Internet service providers in Zimbabwe, Africom, launched a VSAT teleport hub in Harare this morning. The teleport, pictured on the left, was installed with the help of SkyVision Global Networks, a global provider of IP connectivity over satellite systems.


Review: Ecoweb’s 4G Mobile WiMax

A little more than two weeks ago we got hold of an Ecoweb 4g Mobile WiMax kit. We’ve been using it since. Long enough to give a fair review. We cut the review up into separate sections so you can jump to the section you want


Econet Starts Rolling Out New Concept Stores

ECONET Wireless has begun a massive rollout of a chain of new format stores, as part of a wider programme to transform the company’s customer service systems.


Nhava Sells Stake To Rugare Chidembo, To Push Tens Of Thousands Of Nhavas This Year

We visited the Nhava founders yesterday at their Livingstone offices in the Harare Avenues. We had an interesting discussion with them; from how Nhava was founded, their vision, the range of laptops and expansion plans.


Telecel Extends Mega Juice Promotion Duration, Reduces Bonus Minutes To US $1

Telecel Zimbabwe has decided to continue with its Mega Juice promotion apparently after being inundated with requests for it to extend the promotion. The promotion is due to end on Friday this week.


Google Africa Product Manager Coming Into Zimbabwe Today

We’re getting information that Google’s Sub Saharan Africa Product Manager, Divon Lan, will be in the country today. He’s coming in to meet with Internet service providers, telecom operators and the University of Zimbabwe.


We Live-Tweeted The POTRAZ Consultative Meeting

For the first time at Techzim today, we live tweeted an event. The result: a live update of the proceedings at a POTRAZ consultative meeting with Internet Access Providers and Internet Service Providers in Harare. Our followers were able to follow the event in realtime!


PowerTel Presenting On The Impact of Connectivity Through Submarine Fibre

This month’s Computer Society function is a presentation on the impact of Internet connectivity through the submarine optic fibre by PowertTel. The presentation will be made by PowerTel Sales and Marketing Manager, Willard Nyagwande and will be held at the Harare Club at 1730hrs today.

In March, PowerTel became the first telecoms operator to connect to high speed submarine optic fibre cable through through Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC)


Econet’s 4500km Optic Fibre National Backbone

Last week, we got our hands on more information regarding the Econet fibre project. The largest telecoms company in Zimbabwe is constructing the largest fibre cable network in Zimbabwe. It’s arguably one of the largest in the Southern Africa region too. It’s a 4,500km optic fibre network linking all Zimbabwe cities and major towns.

The main fibre route runs from Chirundu (Zimbabwe’s border with Zambia) through Chinhoyi, Harare, Chegutu, Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Gwanda, West Nicholson, down to Beitbridge where it will connect to a Seacom cable in South Africa.


Aquiva Closes US $7.2m Deal With HUAWEI

Today, news came out that Aquiva Wireless has sealed a telecoms deal worth US $7.2m with Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies. The deal itself is for the establishment of 92 bases stations for broadband Internet. This effectively sets Aquiva Wireless on a growth path to compete with Internet Access Providers that have extensive infrastructure in the country like Africom, Ecoweb, PowerTel, Telecontract and TelOne.


The Zim Ubuntu 10.04 Release Party On This Weekend

Yes, the Zimbabwe Ubuntu LoCo Team finally said something. So all you party animals (and not-so-social geeks, seriously, here is your chance to interact with like minded dudes) make time this Saturday to celebrate freedom.

The release party will take place at 335 Herbert Chitepo Street, Alliance Française in Harare and it starts at 2PM. You can send an email to events@ubuntu.org.zw for directions. And for all the naysayers out there (and Windows fanboys) who don’t believe in freedom, there will be a demo to showcase the special features that distinguish Ubuntu as an Operating System.


POTRAZ Calls ICT Providers To Help Define IAP/ISP Roles

The Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has invited all Internet Access Providers (IAPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to a consultative meeting to be held in Harare next week. The purpose of the meeting: to discuss the role of the IAPs and the ISPs.

POTRAZ has been trying to regularize the operations of ISPs lately. Currently, only IAPs are licensed by POTRAZ. This arrangement has problems. Numerous problems actually.


NetOne Introduces Per Second Billing

Heeding a directive from the Zimbabwe telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, NetOne has introduced per second billing for all calls within its network. NetOne confirmed today that subscribers will be charged US $0.0033 for each second. Multiply that by 60 seconds and you have your US 20 cents per minute, more or less. This is important.

Important because it works out cheaper for subscribers to make short duration calls.


ZESA Effectively Using Website To Update Customers

ZESA impressed us today. The national power company is using the internet to provide customers with daily updates on important issues affecting the customers.

Visit www.zesa.co.zw to see what we’re talking about. The website loads fast, super fast actually. There’s lots of useful information. Some of it includes: “How to calculate your own bills” to “Taking your own meter reading” and tips on how to reduce your power usage.


Telecel Surpasses A Million Subscribers, To Launch 3G In 2 Months

Telecel Zimbabwe yesterday celebrated its attainment of more than one million subscribers at a function held to coincide with the end of the Harare International Festival of the Arts, at which it was one of the major sponsors.

Telecel took the opportunity to announce that it will launch 3G and GPRS data services on its network within the next two months. Indications that Telecel was going to launch internet services started back in January.


The Ecoweb 4G Mobile WiMax Coverage Map

Since we posted that Ecoweb started selling 4G mobile WiMax last week, we’ve been trying to get some solid information on the network coverage of the new technology. We requested a coverage map but the response we got what was something to the effect of “tell us a location and we’ll tell you if it’s covered or not”. A polite way of saying “No”.


Econet posts mega profits, declares dividend

This week Econet published their financial results for the year to February 2010. The results presentation, available on SlideShare here has a number of highlights but the outstanding one is the US $113 million Profit after Tax results! Total revenue for the period is US $362 million. Basic earnings per share per share were at a generous US 66c.


The Broken Reserve Bank Website

Today I was going through an article we’ll post shortly on ICT security in Zimbabwe. In the article, reference was made by the writer to the fact that there are no major information security compliance or legislation requirements to govern the implementation of ICT security in Zimbabwe. That the only major requirement around is for banks to comply with the RBZ Bank Certification (Bank Supervision IT requirements).

As is practice here, when we make a claim in an article, we make sure that we reference the source of the information. So I pointed my browser to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe website, to find any information on this RBZ ‘security’ requirement. It opened the neat RBZ site we all came to know during those mad ‘burning’ days.