Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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How to not quickly use up your mobile broadband bundles

We list below, a few bandwidth saving tips. We know some readers have even more tips. If you’re such a reader, please add in your tips in the comments. We’re going to assume you use a Windows machine here because that’s what most people use, and also because if you’re on a Linux box, chances are you‘re a savvy enough and don’t need us lecturing you on this.

Masawara Telerix aquisition. Which ISP is Telerix?

Many of you saw the Masawara press release on Tuesday, and like us, most of you went into looking for who Telerix is. This is because Telerix is not on the list of official POTRAZ licensed Internet Access Providers. We thought it’d be a typical walk in the park verifying this information with the concerned parties. We were wrong.

PowerTel launches mobile broadband in Bulawayo. Gweru & Kwekwe to follow

State owned backhaul Internet Access Provider, PowerTel has launched 3G CDMA mobile broadband in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo. The official launch took place at the close of 2010 and the mobile internet service is now fully operational.

Telecel mobile internet access ‘satisfactory’

Feedback acquired by TechZim from Telecel Zimbabwe subscribers who have been selected to test the Telecel mobile Internet platform launched towards the end of last year has been mixed.

Powertel Outage slows down internet in Zimbabwe, Techzim affected

Since yesterday morning, we noticed traffic on the Techzim local site wasn’t replicating to the International mirror. Experience has taught us that when this happens it means our webhost, Webdev, doesn’t have International internet.

ICT developments to watch out for in 2011

2010 brought so much positive change to Zimbabwe’s ICT landscape. An exciting year indeed. But it’s behind us now and 2011 has just started. It remains to be seen if growth in the sector this year will happen at the same 2010 leaps-and-bounds rate. Still the new year looks promising from a couple of fronts. Especially the connectivity one.

ZOL and Yo Africa announce strategic alliance

Today, ZOL and Yo Africa, two of Zimbabwe’s biggest ISPs have announced that they have entered a “strategic alliance” in which the two ISPs will combine some operating resources to lower the costs of service delivery.

Telecel to offer Blackberry services

Over the past several days, we’ve been getting some interesting information from people close to Telecel regarding data services. Some of the information is very much public; like the fact that Telecel has extended the data services trial to more subscribers.

Short guide to Zimbabwe’s mobile and Internet connectivity

Some weeks ago, a fellow blogger sent us a blog post suggestion in the form of a list of questions about Zimbabwe’s mobile and internet connectivity.Here is the list of questions and answers. Your Zim connectivity FAQ. We added a few of our own. While this is targeted at Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, it includes some info that local Zimbabweans might find useful.

VoIP: The future of voice communication in Zimbabwe

IP Telephony has been around since as early as 1973 and has over the past decade been enhanced to attain telephone (PSTN) voice quality. Today VoIP services are offered internationally by traditional telecom operators (e.g. BT in the UK) and dedicated IP phone networks like Skype.

Telecel makes move into mobile banking

Telecel customers will soon be able to use their cellphones to buy groceries and airtime, pay bills, deposit and withdraw money, transfer and send money.

Econet to launch email system for broadband subscribers

Econet Wireless has announced it will be launching an email system for its broadband subscribers before Christmas. Referring to email as the next phase of making Zimbabweans the most digitally connected people in Africa, Econet says it will issue broadband subscribers with free email addresses linked to the Econet mobile number.

Econet engages SA consultants to review broadband prices downwards

We’re getting information that Econet has engaged consultants from neighboring South Africa to work on the mobile broadband prices.

Telco working on a mobile broadband offering for early 2011

In a response to an email we sent them, Telco (Telecontract) revealed that they’re working on a mobile broadband service to be launched in 2011. Telco says “deployment of the first base stations is underway and commissioning of the commercial services is scheduled for early in 2011.”

Econet to switch on fibre as early as next week

On Tuesday this week, Econet announced that it has connected the Seacom optic fibre cable and is ready to switch on once the green light is given by the regulators. Well, we have more news on that today.

Econet connects to SEACOM undersea fibre cable

Econet just announced some 3 milestones today. The first and most significant is that Econet has established a direct connection to the SEACOM undersea optic fibre cable in Durban and is ready to connect customers once given the green light by the regulatory authorities.

Econet to lay fibre all the way to Jo’burg

At the Econet’s Experience Expo held some 2 weeks ago, Liquid Telecom (an Econet subsidiary) made an interesting mention, which from previous discussion with Liquid, we were not aware of.

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.

Some Pictures From The Econet Experience Expo

We’re just from the Econet Experience Expo that’s being held in Harare. It’s an Econet only (well, and Econet partners) exhibition which started yesterday and is due to end tomorrow. I thought we’d just go through the exhibition and come back quickly. I was so wrong.

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.

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.

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.

Open Letter To Econet And Its Founders

Firstly, I love Econet, its brands, and the founder to bits. Having moved that out of the way, allow me to openly rebuke the one that I love.

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.

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.

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.

No Real Broadband Yet In Zimbabwe

As the editor of an online magazine that is updated several times a day, the Internet is a critical tool for my team and I. Also, as a member of a web development team doing critical updates and uploads for several clients the Internet is indispensable. So it is totally frustrating the amount of down time we have to deal with in Zimbabwe.

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.