As you may remember, in December last year, Telecel Zimbabwe extended its mobile broadband test to a wider group of Telecel subscribers. Not all subscribers, just a larger group. We’ve just learnt that during this period Telecel quietly opened up mobile broadband to non-Telecel subscribers as well.
We’ve been trying to get information about the company called Spiritage for some weeks now. What caught our attention (and that of many of you asking us about Spiritage) were the Spiritage ICT job vacancies in the press. The company is clearly on a massive recruitment drive. Fortunately, a few days ago, some information started trickling in.
PowerTel and Econet, Zimbabwe’s main suppliers of international internet bandwidth both experienced some downtime on their fibre cables yesterday.
We were at Aquiva Wireless in Harare the other day, talking to the founding team about developments at the Internet Access Provider. There are some interesting developments alright; it’s Mobile WiMax offerings, fibre, VSAT and some VoIP services to launch in a few months.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
We’re getting information that Econet has engaged consultants from neighboring South Africa to work on the mobile broadband prices.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.