Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Telecel Slashes International SMS Costs, Begins Per Second Promotions

Telecel Zimbabwe on Saturday switched all its customers to per second billing. Promotions only available previously with per minute billing are now available in a revised form as per second billing promotions.

Africom To Pull Plug on Free Internet, Readies ‘Integration’

The free internet browsing some lucky Africom subscribers have been enjoying for a little more than 2 months is coming to an end in a few days from now. Apparently, the techies at Africom have caught up with the runaway broadband.

When PowerTel’s Backbone Breaks, Zimbabwe’s Internet Grounds To A Halt

The PowerTel fibre internet backbone broke this morning. This backbone carries most of Zimbabwe’s traffic so when it goes down, it’s a really big deal. Service Providers are forced to reroute traffic via limited satellite capacity and this create enormous congestion for the country resulting in what may be referred to as tortoise internet.

Google Launches Website To Promote Google Technologies in Sub Saharan Africa

For a little more than a year now, Google has been holding a series of events for students, software developers and entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. It started with the G-Mauritius Day in 2009, then Nigeria a few months later, Senegal, Nigeria again, Ghana in June this year, and most recently in Kenya and Uganda in September.

The Month Of Free Mobile Broadband In Zimbabwe

Some two weeks ago, we posted that Africom is still giving away free internet despite the expiration of the gratis internet promotion. Africom subscribers are still getting fast internet for nothing as we write this, and it’s emerging they’re not the only ones enjoying free stuff this month. Some Econet subscribers are too.

The Telecel Website Construction Job That’s Taken 10 Months

It’s been 10 months since this website went down for reconstruction. When we asked Telecel about it then, we were told:

We are redoing our website in line with a change in our communication and because of these changes to the design it has become necessary to temporarily put the site on hold. Our site will be up as soon as we complete our work.

Some Details On Telco’s Recently Launched VoIP Services

Like most of you in Zimbabwe, we’ve seen the adverts and the articles in the print press about Telco’s launch of the first public VoIP network. We wanted to find out more, for you our dear readers so we contacted Telco and got some details.

MXit, A Mobile Social Network For Africa

I’ll confess that I only came to know about MXit just a few weeks ago. I should have known it earlier, like a few years back maybe. In this age of Facebook, the influence MXit has on social interaction in South Africa is nothing short of a phenomenon.

Nominations Underway For Zimbabwe ICT Achievers Awards

Back in February this year, when the Zim Minister of ICT launched the country’s ICT strategic plan, he promised Zimbabwe would have an annual ICT Achievers Award program to honor Zim’s ICT achievers. Well, this promise is being delivered right now.

Econet To Explain Itself At An Expo

We’ve been following up some kind of response from Econet to the open letter posted here 4 days ago. We’re still to get it, the formal response anyway. But yesterday, we got something that might help clarify issues raised in the letter.

The Winners Of The 2010 AfricaCom Awards

If you have been following Africa tech news lately, you’re probably aware that the annual AfricaCom Awards ceremony was held yesterday in South Africa. For those of you reading about AfricaCom the first time right now, AfricaCom Awards are like the Grammys of Africa’s telecoms industry and this is the third year running.

Africom Suspends Adding More Customers Until System Is ‘Integrated’

Last week, we wrote that Africom was giving away free bandwidth to subscribers. Free, not because Africom loves giving away internet gratis, but some “outstanding integration aspects” sort of forced them into this not so desirable situation.

Axis Takes Delivery Of More Fiscalisation Devices As Deadline Approaches For Business

You will remember that back in August when talk about Fiscalisation in Zim took center stage, there was an outcry about the unrealistic deadline for companies to ‘fiscalise’. Business was required to change over to the fiscalised devices by the 1st of October. This of course wasn’t possible and the deadline had to be extended some three months.

Econet Subscribers Now 4.6 Million, Targets 5 Million By Christmas

This week, Econet Wireless reached another milestone in its mission to consolidate its top position as the biggest (and most profitable) telecommunications company in Zimbabwe.

Africom Still ‘Giving Away’ Free Mobile Internet

If you made a decision to buy Africom’s broadband service during the one month free trial, or soon after the paid services launched, you’re probably patting yourself on the back for making one of the wisest connectivity decisions you’ve made this year.

Nhava To Launch Tablet Device In A Couple Of Days

Back in May this year when we last visited the Nhava offices, the Nhava CEO Mr. Tinashe Shangwa told us the company was about to launch a new tablet device named the Maestro in a matter of weeks. Well, the Maestro didn’t exactly come in a matter of weeks. But a couple of days ago, we had an opportunity to chat with Mr. Shangwa at the Nhava Avenues offices and he had some news for us.

Cyber Gaming LAN Tourney This Sunday

We just got an email from the organizers of the Zim cyber gaming LAN events. There’s going to be a tournament this Sunday, 7th of November. The organizers, Yo Africa, try to hold a tournament almost every month. Last one was on 3 October.

Econet Says Mobile Broadband Selling Like Hot Cakes

We’ve just received a press release from Econet with some news we can’t say we expected. Apparently, the recently launched Econet Broadband service has been a “runaway successes surpassing anything the company has experienced before.” Econet says it has connected more than 100,000 subscribers within just a week.

Econet Reduces Mobile Broadband Tariffs, More Reductions to Come

There’s some good news to share today. Econet published new tariffs for its mobile broadband services in the press. On the new tariff schedule, some mobile broadband packages have been reduced by as much 50%. Not all packages have been reduced but hey, any easing of those steep rates is welcome.

Telecel Pushes Mobile Internet Launch To Next Year

Last week left a lot of mobile users asking questions about Telecel’s data services. Econet’s pricey mobile broadband and Africom’s (and PowerTel’s) lack of coverage outside Harare has increased the calls for an alternative. And many believe Telecel has the much needed international backing from its Egypt based parent company, Telecel Globe, to provide an alternative.

Baraza; Google’s Answer To Local Content For Africa

Yesterday, Google launched Google Baraza, a community driven question and answer site allowing users to submit questions and answer questions posed by other users. The product is still in beta and marks another Google’s attempt at developing products specifically for the continent.

The Africom Mobile Broadband Coverage Map

There have been some questions from our readers here on the site, about Africom’s network coverage. We initially didn’t think it was necessary to post it because it’s on the Africom website,

Beyond A Gig, Africom’s Mobile Broadband Costs $100 Per Gig

Africom has received a lot of praise since it launched its mobile broadband service a little more than a month ago. Most users of the new service love it. Some subscribers even credit Africom with bringing the first true mobile broadband experience to Zimbabwe.

NetOne Is The Talk of The Town?

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Africom Launches Paid Mobile Broadband Services

Today Africom officially unveiled its paid mobile broadband services through adverts in the press and an email sent today to subscribers using the services for the one month free bandwidth promotion. The email basically tells subscribers to pay by 23 October or get disconnected.

Econet Launches Mobile Broadband Services

We’re just from the launch of Zimbabwe’s first nationwide broadband service by Econet at an elegant dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Harare this evening. The launch was attended was attended by cabinet ministers, ambassadors and POTRAZ officials.

NetApp Launches Zimbabwe Partnership With Frolgate Technology

NetApp, the NASDAQ listed fortune 100 company, launched their Zimbabwe presence today through Frolgate Technology, a local ICT solutions company. The launch was done at a hotel in Harare.

Telecel Wins Market Penetration Leadership Award

Telecel Zimbabwe has been awarded the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Award for Market Penetration Leadership within the Southern African Development Community.

Africom Mobile Broadband Services Prices

It is common knowledge now that Zimbabweans are going to be getting better quality mobile Internet within the next 2 weeks. Whether it’s going to be affordable or not is of course another matter altogether and a discussion for when the official tariff schedules come out.

Possible Econet Data Bundle Prices Revealed

We just received an update on our Twitter feed from an alert Tafmak with details on the new Econet pricing for the data services to be announced 2 days from now.