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Author: Victor Mukandatsama


Online funeral coordination platform Funeral.ly launched

funeral.ly is a Zimbabwean online event management platform that allows one to manage a funeral it was recently launched online. It capitalises on the internet to provide a centralized method for disseminating information and coordinating funerals among family members, friends and colleagues


It’s about time we got a short code directory from these mobile operators

With numerous codes for topup, VAS, Billers, Merchants and so on, wouldn’t it make sense for operators to create some form of directory service? The same directory can be used by subscribers to find a particular services at any point in time instead of continuously receiving unsolicited advertising messages.


Are you an entrepreneur? Here’s why you should attend the Broadband Forum

Now that the internet is available, there is need for startups to understand how the opportunities that come with it can be exploited successfully into profitable businesses. The Broadband Forum will provide a platform for aspiring startups to learn from testimonials of successes like Mark Essien’s Hotels.ng in tourism and Emma Kay bringing bozzi.mobi online.


Interview with Telecel CEO Angeline Vere: What are the mobile operator’s plans?

Recently, Techzim interviewed Telecel Zimbabwe CEO, Angeline Vere. In the interview, she highlighted some aspects of Telecel’s plans for the short to medium term, as well as some aspects relating to the investment from its current owners.


Nettcash has something new lined up, what else should the money service fix?

Nettcash, the mobile money service, is set to launch a new product that will enhance its list of services and improve its current platform. We are not sure what the new product is, but there are some aspects of its current offering that it should consider improving on.


What can we expect at Zimbabwe’s 1st Mobile Money & Digital Payments Awards?

The Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference, an awards ceremony that seeks to recognise and honour outstanding performance and innovation in mobile money and digital payments will be held on the 27th of July in Harare


Econet now has its own USSD News service

It could be mere coincidence that as Econet introduces a content account disrupting the Zimpapers mobile news service, a new USSD based news platform is launched. However, some would speculate that Econet in fact benefited from the confusion by bringing in their own, or a new player in the SMS News VAS.


Here are 3 ways you will benefit from Infrastructure Sharing

With all this talk on infrastructure sharing, we also need to consider the government’s viewpoint and possibly understand why it feels so strongly towards it. The government is obliged to ensure that consumers receive fair pricing for goods and services while it also protects the businesses in telecoms. These are the motivations behind this move on shared infrastructure.


Infrastructure Sharing: purely an emotional debate

Operators would rather “go it alone” than share infrastructure despite the fact that there is an opportunity for cost savings of up to 40%. To the consumer it makes absolutely no sense that they should have to pay higher tariffs for a service when there is a clearly a better way for all stakeholders to benefit.


Here’s why Telecel employees should fight for share ownership, not salaries

Whether true or false that Telecel has tabled offers to its staff for payment of 20% of salaries in kind, this is an opportunity for the shareholders to shed some equity over to staff through a share ownership trust, a move that not only resolves partially or in toto the share structure dilemma but goes a more critical route to lobby for employee motivation and as an incentive for staff buy-in to the overall vision of the company going forward.


Telecash remains defiant in the face of competition

Telecash may have faced a seasonal drawback in the Telecel versus government tiff early this year but they look set to grow stronger with the right formula. Recording 1 million subscribers from launch last year in January, they can easily reach the same user ratios as Ecocash.


Econet reintroduces Buddie Zone, packages it with mobile games

Econet has reintroduced its Buddie Zone promotion, which offers discounts of up to 90% for on-net voice calls. At first glance, this looks like Econet’s way of adding value to voice calls for subscribers. However, the fact that it is coming after another operator, Telecel introduced free calls after midnight, gives the impression that this is a response aimed at maintaining subscriber loyalty.


Here’s the Ximex con, or how the price of a phone goes up because of a box

I had a revealing experience recently while shopping in Harare at Ximex Mall for a smartphone. A Samsung Galaxy S4 went from $250 to $400 simply because of a used box and accessories.


Smartphone distribution in Zimbabwe – Whose line is it anyway?

Smartphone penetration is very low in Zimbabwe trailing far behind other nations like South Africa at 30% and Kenya at 67%. But who should be responsible for equipping the nation with these devices?


What does Zimbabwe’s insignificant smartphone penetration mean?

The smartphone penetration rate in Zimbabwe is approximately 15% which actually means that about 85% of all mobile communication in Zimbabwe is largely through dumb phones (mbudzi) and feature phones. These are some humbling statistics in terms of what it actually means for developments in broadband.


Telecel offers two more voice promos with unlimited calls

Telecel has again launched a reward based Night Chat and 073-4-Free Weekend promotions hot on the heels of the Super Voice Bundles. The Night Chat promo offers its subscribers unlimited calls during the night and the 073-4-Free Weekend rewards customers for $4 airtime purchases during the week by unlimited calls Saturday night to Sunday midnight.


TelOne & POTRAZ to host infrastructure sharing debate

Telone Center for Learning in conjunction with Potraz will hold a Southern Africa (SADC) Telecommunications Symposium on the 9th to 11th which will focus on Infrastructure Sharing. The event is an exclusive meetup of top level management responsible for or involved in network infrastructure negotiations and policies.


Telecel introduces Super Voice Bundles, offers $1 for 60 minutes talktime

Telecel is en route to getting back in the game with its latest Super Voice Bundles offering which avails 50 and 200 voice minutes from a $1 and $2 airtime purchase respectively.


Telecel continues to put up fight for survival, pays POTRAZ’s licence installment

In an interesting development Telecel has issued a statement assuring subscribers and stakeholders that they have met the June installment for the Licence Renewal Agreement with Government. This installment is part of the money that will go towards a 7 year plan to satisfy the $137,5 million required for a Mobile Network Operator’s licence.


Here’s how the Econet special bundles will affect the operator

The introduction of the dual account setup by Econet was a huge advantage on the part of the subscriber in terms of conserving data but it may yet turn out to be an inconvenience for Econet, VAS providers and some subscribers who are critical about their VAS services.


Zimpapers’ gamble on digital news looks set to pay back millions

Zimpapers CEO Pikirayi Dekete reports in an Zimpapers AGM sideline interview that digital content is generating 3% of their annual revenue and they have at least 300,000 subscribers on their SMS and MMS mobile news and classifieds platforms.


The future of WiFi – a techie’s fantasy blended with reality

Mobile and home Internet in the future is going to be accessed mostly through WiFi and IAPs will provide free last mile connectivity, or close to it. WiFi will be available everywhere resulting in the decline of Mobile Data consumption and Voice calls.


Dembare Vs Bosso : Should we be considering Goal Line technology?

So apparently the Highlanders goal was erroneously or inaccurately disallowed. Replays will actually show that Edmore Muzanenhamo was actually onside. This brings into context the argument of whether or not Goal Line Technology should be introduced into soccer refereeing.


That SMS spam our networks serve us is legal after all

As it turns out SMS and Telemarketing messages from network operators are not spam legally and both the Consumer Contract and Telecoms Acts seem to agree that unless you are willing to go some extra legal expense and prove otherwise, For every subscriber, opting is the only option.


Econet’s Group CEO quit recently. Who was this guy anyway?

Econet Wireless Global’s CEO Craig Fitzgerald is reported to have stepped down from his position at the helm of the multinational concern. While most of the focus has always been on Econet’s founder, here is a look at some of the work Fitzgerald was responsible during his tenure.


Local mobile game developer Saintoon Studios is putting Zim on the map

Contrary to our believe that there is no game development in Zimbabwe, it is refreshing to note that game developer Saintoon Studios has not only developed several game apps but one of them has achieved Apple store Southern Africa Featured App status. Here is a short profile of Saintoon Studios.


Government doesn’t get tech startups, but here are 4 ways it can get involved

The startup ecosystem is composed of stakeholders that include players such as business, government, community and so forth. From the startups events in Zimbabwe, the government is conspicuous by their absence from and not playing a participatory role in developing the startup culture.


Econet throws subscribers another bone, reverts to old Bundle of Joy rates

Econet has adjusted its Bundles of Joy package and reverted back to a $1 for 10 minutes offering. This is a welcome development even though it seems like Econet is trying to curry favour with subscribers after doubling social media bundles and experiencing a slip in revenues.


Zimbabwe Independent Website Hacked

The Zimbabwe Independent website was attacked and penetrated by hackers earlier this week. Though this is hardly something new for local publisher websites, this attack was the first in quite a while. According to the team at the Independent, the newspaper has been back online and precautions have been taken to guard against something like this.


Econet apologises to subscribers with free airtime

Econet has been awarding free airtime and an apology for inconveniences resulting from a challenge with their billing system. If this is true, this is the second time their system has been the cause for concern.