Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

POTRAZ finalises Infrastructure Sharing regulations ahead of 90 Ultimatum

POTRAZ will be holding an open-house conference of stakeholders involved in infrastructure sharing in telecoms in the next few days as it finalises the draft sharing agreement readying for transforming into law and possible implementation by end of year.

Here’s why VSAT is still relevant in Zimbabwe

It’s easy to consider VSAT as an outdated phenomenon that nobody really talks about anymore. With Internet Providers complaining about the cost of VSAT landing fees and the gazetting of new fees reducing them to token figures, one must realise that indeed VSAT is still a technology to consider.

POTRAZ slashes VSAT landing rights fees

Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has scrapped the annual fees for VSAT landing rights from $1,500 to a low $20 for C and Ku Band and $30 for Ka Band.

Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) to celebrate 10th anniversary with workshops

Harare Institute of Technology will hold a series of workshops on technology as part of its 10th Anniversary celebrations.

Some takeaways from MISA Zimbabwe’s Internet Governance Conference

The second session of the MISA Internet Governance Conference held in Harare recently concluded with startups and online businesses sharing their experiences. The role of technical enablers in the form of Internet Providers and Mobile Operators would have been an interesting discussion, but unfortunately, only TelOne turned up. The discussion also brought onto the spotlight the […]

Telone introduces Wifi at Innscor Outlets

Telone has introduced hotspots at food outlets in partnership with Innscor. This could be a good development as it quickly multiplies Telone’s numbers and attracts traffic to Innscor outlets.

Zimbabwe’s Internet Governance Conference: A summary so far

We have just concluded the first session of the MISA Governance Conference. Here is a summary of the event so far.

TelOne slashes salaries by 15%, scraps bonuses

Telone is reported to have joined the Labour realignment bandwagon and slashed salaries by 15 percent. It has also implemented a raft of measures to reduce the overall wage bill.

From an offline to an online experience: the shift in Zimbabwean e-commerce

In recent months, we have been seeing the shift in companies from cash sales to the trendy electronic and online platforms. Some of the most unlikely “traditional” corporate are showing an interest in these “new age systems”. Are we finally seeing the start of a huge shift into online payments and mobile payments in Zimbabwe? In this interview, we discuss this dynamic with Vusi Ndebele from local payments aggregator, Paynow.

Local payments gateway, Paynow, experiences 30% monthly growth

Local payments gateway, Paynow, is experiencing healthy growth, recording a 30% month-on-month increase in transaction value and volumes. Paynow’s Topup has also managed to process up to 3,000 transactions per month from its launch to date.

Here’s what to expect from the upcoming MISA Internet Governance Forum

MISA will hold an Internet Governance Conference which will dwell on Internet reach, sustainability, governance, content creation & dissemination. While the media will dwell on issues surrounding their viability, it is also prudent for general consumers to join the wider discussions towards coming up with an internet governance framework.

YouTube introduces offline videos for select African markets

Google has activated YouTube offline video viewing via a download button available on the app during video play. It seems, however, it is only available in countries where the Android One project has been launched.

Android One introduces Infinix HOT 2 -X510, an $87 phone

Android One has just announced that it is launching in Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria.
With the launch is the introduction of the Infinix HOT2-X510 which comes at a recommended price of $87. This is not a high-end device as it is meant to be a low-cost enabler.

Zimbabwean telecoms is changing, isn’t it time for an MVNO?

With the current quality of service from the operators coupled by the coming in Infrastructure Sharing framework coming, it may be ample time for a Mobile Virtual Network Operator.

Gtel clinches devices distribution deal with Airtel

G-Tel has made strides into Kenya by partnering with Airtel in a deal structured to take advantage of Airtel’s market share to deliver mobile phones on credit.

Naspers’ ShowMax to offer Mobile VOD

Naspers is in negotiations with Vodacom to offer Mobile based VOD services via its new vehicle ShowMax. This move may consolidate Naspers market share in the face of NetFlix expansion.

Reduced roaming tariffs project welcome, but a bit late in the making

A pilot exercise by regional member states to reduce roaming tariffs as a means through which to promote regional trade and partnerships under the SADC Home and Away Roaming (SHAR) initiative is underway. However, this development is a bit late in the making and seems to ignore data roaming charges.

Meikles Financial Services set to launch its own MyCash Card

The Meikles group is developing a loyalty card that is similar to the MyClub Card but looking to enhance it with banking services. Most conventional mobile money transactions are going to be covered by the card.

Are imported solutions for local problems a form of innovation?

At the IPA Zimbabwe fireside chat, an important aspect was brought up regarding the argument of innovation and importation of external solutions to a local problem. Should imported ideas tweaked to a local problem be considered innovation?

Why aren’t solar-powered laptops a popular idea?

With the consistent shortage in ZESA electricity, I am seriously wondering why solar laptops are not a popular idea. Wouldn’t a solar powered laptop solve the battery problem for a lot of people?

Quick picks from the recent Samsung products launch

From a new phablet to add-on keyboards, here is a look at the impressive lineup unveiled by Samsung at its recent product launch.

ZB Bank already retailing ZESA using mobile app (update)

As it turns out, in addition to the Nettcash app, the ZB Mobile App also offers agents a platform to sell ZESA prepaid tokens from their mobile phones. The functionality of the App, however, is clouded by the availability of POS which are probably prioritised for their physical receipts.

The ZESA prepaid token system is the irk of electricity retailing

The ZESA prepaid token ecosystem is not as efficient as we would want it to be with constant reports of downtime for “upgrades” and the sort with most distributors letting consumers pass the blame to ZESA for their distribution challenges

Zimbabwean startups need to decide to either follow tech or the market

Most tech startups and techies in general, believe that the world is as tech literate as they are and the solutions they provide seem to miss this point.

RBZ financial inclusion ultimatum a wake up call for local banks

Banks have been given an ultimatum by the RBZ to submit financial inclusion plans within the next four months, a late development considering that banks have laid back while Ecocash and Telecash established a presence in the market.

Aruba Networks to hold WiFi education meetings in Zimbabwe

This month Aruba Networks will host a series of public meetings discussing WiFi solutions applicable in Zimbabwe by various players. Besides selling its products, the HP company will give the public an opportunity to understand the retail broadband solutions available to them.

Is internet in Zimbabwe really that much cheaper?

Many would like to believe that internet is now cheaper in Zimbabwe but other than the promotional packages i feel that we are still a bit high. Mobile data which would provide the most convenient delivery of internet is ridiculously expensive.

EcoCash partner, Mahindra Comviva’s payPLUS now Visa Ready

Mahindra Comviva’s payPLUS mPOS solution has been accepted into the Visa Ready Program and delivers payments according to Visa standards. This development will increase their appeal as a trusted payments provider.

With all these job cuts, a credit rating system is now more critical than before

With the current developments in labour where perpetual employment has been virtually terminated, credit rating systems will become crucial in providing benchmarks through which companies offering products on credit can reference credit worthiness.

Liquid Telecom CEO Nic Rudnick makes list of 50 African Trailblazers

Liquid Telecom CEO Nic Rudnick has landed on the “50 African Trailblazers” list for his exploits at Liquid and recognition in the telecoms industry. He joins the likes of Didier Drogba, African Billionaires Mo Ibrahim and Aliko Dangote, music legend Hugh Masekela and Ghana actress Yvonne Nelson among other businessman.