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Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Year 2009 In Review

2009 came with a shift in ICT policy direction by the government. Customs duty on ICT equipment for example was suspended and currently ICT hardware suppliers only need to pay 15% VAT on imported equipment. Most positive change has generally been attributed to the energetic Minister of ICT, Nelson Chamisa.


2009 Global ICT Facts

This month, the International Telecommunications Union released the “World in 2009, ICT Facts and Figures” report available in pdf here. Below is a summary some of the most interesting facts.


G-Tide Launches Regional Office In Harare

G-Tide, the makers of the locally popular G-Tide mobile phone launched their regional office in Harare on Wednesday at a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza. The mobile phone appeared on the market about a year ago and has arguably taken up a significant slice of the mobile phone market in Zimbabwe.


New Facebook Privacy Settings Seek To Do Away With Privacy

On visiting facebook last night, I was met with a prompt to update my privacy settings. Basically, the new privacy settings default your profile views to everyone. Including the boss whose friend request you haven’t responded to in over a year now. And pervy male stalkers crawling the net like search engines. Prospective employers too; they’re in the habit of Googling interviewees these days. The only information Facebook is suggesting you keep to your circle of friends is your email address, phone number and physical address.


What Zimbabweans Searched For On Google in 2009

According to Google Insights for Search, Zimbabweans just love facebook. We love it so much it’s in the first four spots in 2009’s top ten rising searches. At number 1 as “login facebook” then 2 as “facebook.com”, 3 as “www.facebook.com” and 4 as just “facebook”!


Replace Adobe Reader With This Lightweight PDF reader

Whenever my Firefox freezes, I immediately check if Adobe Reader’s trying to open a PDF from inside the browser. More often than not this is the reason and killing the tab (which is not always a click-and-close process) makes the fox happy again. Adobe Reader is THAT bloated, well for me at least.


Net*One Goes Green With Solar Powered Base Stations

It’s quite interesting to read news that Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator (by number of subscribers) is now using solar energy to power its base stations. Net*One boasts the widest network coverge in Zimbabwe and keeping its large inventory of base stations powered has probably been a challenge, hence the green solution.


Econet Introduces Airtime Coins To Ease Change Problems

Zimbabwean companies have come up with all kinds of solutions to the change problems that followed the economy’s dollarisation earlier this year. The problem itself is that a lot items are priced with a cents component or just cost less than a US dollar. This is a nightmare because there are just not enough coins in circulation in the country. Some grocery shops issue customers with credit notes, some just ask you to choose an additional item from the shelves to round off the price to a solid dollar. On very rare lucky days you’ll get your change in South African Rands. Indeed some have used the “sorry, no change” excuse to get customers to buy more stuff.


Ambitious New Telecoms Operator, Broadlands Networks

Yesterday’s Standard newspaper carried an article on the new telecoms operator, Broadlands, with the title: “New Operator to End TelOne Dominance”. It’s not clear from the article if Broadlands Networks is after a slice of TelOne’s market share in fixed telecommunication services, International bandwidth wholesaling or mobile CMDA services.


Early Adopters! Get Your Own Copy Of Chrome OS

Tech blogs have been awash with news about Google’s release of the Chrome OS source code since last week. The release announcement itself was made at the Google Chrome OS launch event in Mountain View CA, in the States. Great news indeed and quite momentous for all and sundry in computing. A lot interesting the […]


New Internet Access Provider Calls For Cable Trenches Construction Bids

About a week ago, we saw a call for bids for the construction of long distance cable trenches nationwide. The tendering company is called Aquiva. Virtually unknown in the telecommunications industry, Aquiva proudly asserts that they are “set to roll out services soon”. It’s not clear what kind of communication services this “nationwide cable project” […]


Computer Society Summer School 2009

The 2009 Computer Society of Zimbabwe (CSZ) Summer School will be held this weekend at Montclaire Hotel in Nyanga. The Summer School provides a platform for IT professionals to learn the latest developments in the ICT profession and generally serves as a great networking opportunity with fellow geeks. Normally open to CSZ members only, this […]


Google Uganda Launches Trader On The Web

Google Uganda anounced today that Google Trader, which has been avalable as a mobile SMS-based marketplace will now be availabe on the web. The mobile version of the service was launched in June this year and allows users to buy and sell goods and services using SMS. Sellers register for free and post their items […]


The Zim Ubuntu 9.10 Release Party In Pictures

See and download the full gallery on posterous Posted via email from Technology Zimbabwe Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge Number to recharge: Airtime amount ($): EcoCash or OneMoney number: Buy Please dial our USSD code *405# on your phone to buy airtime because this page will not work. {{error_message}} {{error_message}}


Econet Suspends Activating More 3G Subscribers Until Billing Is Migrated To Usage Based

We just established that Econet suspended activating more subscribers on their mobile internet services since the beginning of October 2009. Apparently, this was because of an unexpected massive uptake of the 3G, Edge and GPRS services by subscribers which caused some network instability. Activated subscribers are still enjoying the services. Activation of more subscribers will […]


Seacom Blames African Governments And ISPs For Costly Internet

Seacom has heaped the costly internet blame on African national governments and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for failing to pass on the benefits of high speed internet to ordinary citizens. Seacom was responding yesterday through a post on its blog following numerous queries on its Facebook and Twitter pages. Quite visibly unhappy that the much […]


Econet’s Buddie And Libertie Subscribers To Start Roaming

Econet has announced that it will introduce roaming for Buddie and Libertie package subscribers in December this year. Roaming services have up to now been an exclusive for contract line subscribers because of the billing complexities it has with prepaid packages. According to Econet Wireless CEO Mr. Douglas Mboweni, Econet has invested heavily in this […]


Debating How To Lock The Stable Door After The Horse Has Fled

Today I attended “The Transition” televised debate at a local hotel. The topic under discussion was “Free Expression and Freedom of the media are fundamental tenets in a democracy. Does the GPA provide for media freedom?” This, referring to media freedom in Zimbabwe in the current political environment. On the panel was a lawyer Chris […]


Zimbabwe’s Broken Websites: Telecoms Operators

This article is the first in a series of “Zimbabwe’s Broken Websites” articles. Links to future articles will be inserted at the bottom of the post. Last week, we posted an article titled “Zimbabwean Business Should Take Its Internet Image Seriously” in which we criticized Zimbabwean business for a sluggish approach to building an online […]


Zimbabwe Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Release Party

The Zimbabwe Ubuntu Loco team (website not updated yet) will celebrate the release of Ubuntu 9.10 code name Karmic Koala on the 31st of October. The Loco team has been quite active lately, making quite an impression of the volunteer run Open Source initiative at the 2009 ICT Africa exhibition. In an invitation to Zimbabwe’s […]


Ghana To Chair ITU Council for 2009 – 2010

Ghana has taken over the chairmanship of the ITU Council from Bulgaria. The Council began an annual session yesterday, that runs until 30 October 2009 in Geneva. Council members will discuss the implementation of the ITU’s strategic plan with the objective of responding to the current demands of a dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunications and ICT […]


Zimbabwean Business Should Take Their Internet Image Seriously

Last week I met with the managing director of a relatively big local electrical engineering firm. “We need a website ASAP!” he cut to the reason he’d called me. “You still don’t have a website? And why now?” I asked. “It’s urgent my brother. We submitted a bid to a company in the EU. They’ll […]


Internet 101: What is an Operating System

So a finance director friend calls me yesterday and says, “I have just transferred some photos from my mobile to my PC and I can’t find them on the PC.” “What operating system are you using?” I asked. “Ummm what do you mean?” came the reply. “Like is it Vista or XP.” “Oh yes, I […]


No Zimbabwean Company On AfricaCom Awards Shortlist

The 2nd Annual AfricaCom Awards are going to be held on the 11th of November 2009 in Cape Town South Africa. The awards recognize and award excellence in the African telecommunications market. I couldn’t find a single Zimbabwean telecommunications company on this year’s Africa Com Awards shortlist. What’s going on here I asked myself. Econet […]


Chamisa: Nokia & Huawei “interested” in Zimbabwe

In this week’s edition of the prime minister’s newsletter (available for download on the PM site) the information communication technology minister Nelson Chamisa says he had “specific discussions and arrangements” with large communication giants like Nokia and Huwaei at last week’s last week’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) summit in Geneva. Unfortunately we won’t know the […]


Zimbabwe’s Fibre-Optic Internet Backbone Projects

I’ve been curious to find out what high speed Internet backbone projects are underway in Zimbabwe. Reading through the Zimbabwe investment prospectus launched by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) a few months ago, I came across a project by Africom Continental. Africom Continental is a special purpose vehicle company formed by Africom (50%), the Infrastructure […]


Internet 101: What Is A Browser?

It’s back to Internet basics on Google’s recently launched What Browser site where a strictly-no-geek-terms simple to follow video explains what a browser is and the difference from a search engine and an operating system (forget that Google themselves are blurring this line more and more with Chrome OS). The folks at Google do little […]


Ecoweb To Launch VSAT And Mobile Wimax

Two weeks ago we posted that Ecoweb was going to start offering VSAT services. Ecoweb has since made it public that they will be launching their VSAT operations soon. This is welcome news to many organizations such as mining companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and tourism companies with operations in Zimbabwe’s most remote areas where fixed […]


TEAMS Undersea Cable Ready For Commercial Use

The East African Marine System (TEAMS) cable will be launched this week. TEAMS is a submarine fibre-optic cable systems linking Kenya to the world through the United Arab Emirates. The project was initiated by the the Kenya government in 2007 to augment the SEACOM cable which runs along the shores of east and southern Africa […]


SEACOM Competition: What Could Africa Do With More Bandwidth

In a bid to get creative broadband use ideas from none other than the users themselves SEACOM has launched a competition dubbed “What could Africa do with more bandwidth?”. For a chance to win a Flip UltraHD camcorder valued at around $200 and an unspecified “insane Seacom hamper“, East and Southern Africans (I wonder where […]