Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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RECHARGE

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How to get all of Netflix’s content in Africa

If you signed up for Netflix when they went global yesterday becoming available from Angola to Zimbabwe, you were probably disappointed to find that all the shows you expected to find are not there. Shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad… all the good recent stuff. The reason is that […]


Econet to launch Facebook on USSD

“Can you imagine browsing Facebook using any handset? Now You Can!” If you saw this in a teaser advert in today’s paper you must have been wondering (like we were) what sort of service this was and from which operator. We have just established from sources from Econet that this is their new product, Facebook on […]


FOSS And Community Driven Software Initiatives

As I went through the various articles and tweets this on year’s first IDLELO conference, I couldn’t help wonder about Zimbabwe’s standing on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). I generally find FOSS issues interesting and intriguing. I’m quite fascinated by basic concepts of humanity at work.


Econet Kills Libertie

Starting tomorrow, the Libertie and Prepaid Business Partna packages will be killed off gradually. Subscribers on the two discontinued plans will be automatically migrated to the new unified Buddie plan re-launched in the morning today.


Zimbabwe’s Software Piracy Problem

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) 2009 global software piracy study released this month showed a global piracy rate rise to 43% from 41% in 2008. BSA says this means that “for every $100 worth of legitimate software sold in 2009, an additional $75 worth of unlicensed software also made its way into the market” globally.


5 Steps To Enjoy Cheaper Mobile Calls In Zimbabwe

If like us you are looking for ways to make cheaper calls, this article is for you. Here’s how you can start making immediate savings on calls:


How To Make Ultra Cheap Calls In Harare

It’s not much of a secret really. So, no dear tech reader, you didn’t just stumble upon a telecoms hacking article. This is just in case you’ve been in a cave these past few weeks and haven’t been checking the print press.

TelOne has been aggressively advertising the availability of more capacity on their Huawei built CDMA platform this whole month. We’re not sure just how much capacity this is, but the calling rates are very attractive and you should consider it.


It’s Six Months Later And Econet Still Has No 3G For New Subscribers

On 28 August 2009, Econet launched 3G services on its network. Then, we criticized Econet for not providing enough information to subscribers about the new service. A little over a month later, Econet quietly suspended the activation of more subscribers to 3G services.

No public announcement of the service suspension was made. You’d just visit an Econet service center and get told that the services were temporarily suspended. And that if you came back after a few weeks, you’d get all the 3G you wanted. In the press, all we read was that the service had received an overwhelming response. Looking back, Econet obviously meant the ‘overwhelming’ part literally.


5 Handy Internet Apps You Can Use In Zim!

So it’s that time again when, for your health, you’re supposed to take a break and stay away from your PC and your always-buzzing mobile phone.

If you’re like me, you tried that the whole Saturday. You tried to do the other real social (not talking about Facebook here) stuff you’ve been putting off for a while now. It worked. But only for a day.

Or maybe you’re back early from a holiday. Hell, maybe you couldn’t even afford a holiday away in these hard times. Or maybe you’re one of those selfless men and women that have to work during such times.

Whatever your reason, you have some time to kill today so you’re just browsing around.


Exclusive Interview with Telecontract CEO, Shadreck Nkala Over ZOL Disconnections

Two days ago we posted an exclusive interview we had with the ZOL CEO David Behr over the broadband disconnections we posted here on Monday. David Behr revealed some interesting aspects to the story.

Later the same day, we had another exclusive with the other side, Telco CEO Shadreck Nkala. Below is the transcription of the Interview. Like ZOL, he also reveals some issues that have not been apparent before this interview. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Shadreck Nkala: It is very unfortunate. People abuse the facilities that they get provided.

Tech Zim: You feel abused?

SN: Yes, we’re feeling very seriously abused.

TZ: How were you abused?


Of Econet’s Liquid Telecom Fibre And Harare’s ‘Digital Revolution’

An article about the Econet metro fibre network in The Standard last week, had the following takeaway:

IMAGINE Harare, in its dilapidated state, being the most digitalised city in the world. To many, this may sound too far-fetched but for Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet and Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda it is only a matter of time before the dream is realised.

Well, yes, too far-fetched actually. The article goes on to explain a Public Private Partnership (now a buzz phrase with politicians here) where Econet’s satellite operator subsidiary, Liquid Telecom and the Harare City Council are embarking on a US$ 3.5million project to install fibre optic rings in the city.


Zimbabwe’s Mobile Penetration Doesn’t Stand At A Mere 20%

Casually reading an article posted by the Herald a week ago, I was met with a statement that made me stop:

…Potential for better returns in the sector is abound considering that the penetration rate by Econet, Telecel and NetOne, largely confined to urban areas, stands at a mere 20 percent in a country with more than 12 million people.


Broken Promises: Broadlands Networks And Blades of Uncovered Grass

On November 30 2009, we posted an article titled “Ambitious New Telecoms Operator, Broadlands Networks”. In the article, we expressed our reservations on some (now) clearly overambitious statements made by Broadlands Networks CEO, Chemist Siziba in a local weekly paper.

Then, Broadlands promised that there’d be “…no blade of grass that we will not cover in January.” Obviously, this did not happen. It’s March now and I personally do not know of a blade of grass that has been covered. If you, dear reader do, please let us know in the comments section below. What we’ve seen though is the emergence of a row between Broadlands and the telecommunications regulator. The kind of wrangling that starts when things are not in order. You know, the TeleAccess kind of row.


The Zimbabwe ICT Strategic Plan (2010–2014) – The Document

We finally received a copy of the strategic plan from the ministry. Here it is for download.
We provide a summary of the most significant strategic objectives for those of you too ‘busy’ to read the whole document. We also note a few important issues at the end, that we feel are lacking in the ICT ministry’s’ strategic plan.


Users Love Typing Website Addresses Into Search Engines And Google Understands That

Last week we posted an article on Zimbabwe’s Google search trends in 2009. In the article we noted something interesting about how people use browsers and search engines. The top ‘rising searches’ in 2009 on Google for 2009 are all variations of facebook; “facebook.com”, “www.facebook.com”, “facebook login”, and just “facebook”. Shows just how much more popular the social networking site has become in the past year. It also shows something else; people Google Facebook instead typing it directly into the address bar.


Local Application Developers Should Smell the Coffee

According to the Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009 report prepared by the International Telecommunications Union, in 2008 there were 11 internet users out of every 100 inhabitants in Zimbabwe. 2009 itself saw more Zimbabweans connecting to the Internet owing to the introduction of mobile Internet by telecoms operator Econet. Even more connections will be made over the next several months as the economy stabilizes and ISPs & mobile operators take on more subscribers.


Newsnet Knows Its Site Rocks And They Won’t Hear Otherwise

Browsing some local news I was met with a “How do you rate our site?” poll question on the state owned Newsnet homepage. The answers to choose from: ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’ and ‘Not bad’. Talk about taking a positive attitude to far; we know we rock and we won’t let you say we don’t! No prizes […]