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ZOL Moving Disconnected Customers To Africom

Since ZOL came out with the story about its fallout with last-mile network provider Telecontract, we’ve been trying to get more details about the issue from the two. It hasn’t been easy. The Telecontract CEO, Shadreck Nkala, is said to be in meetings all day and all we get are promises that he’ll call back. Same thing with the ZOL CEO.

Can be frustrating this job sometimes! So, we’re left with no option but to go the informal route.

Anyway, we’re getting information that ZOL is in the process of moving all clients to Africom, the company bringing in the SEACOM fibre from TDM in Mozambique.


Ecoweb To Launch Mobile WiMax In April

Ever since Ecoweb announced the coming launch of mobile WiMax last year in October, we’ve been waiting eagerly here at Techzim for further announcements and possibly, a launch date.

This didn’t come until last week when Ecoweb finally said something through their Econet investor relations page. Ecoweb, a wholly owned subsidiary of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe revealed that it is in the final testing phase of mobile WiMax project and will be opening it up to subscribers in next month.

Speaking about the deployment, Ecoweb General Manager, Tororiro Isaac Chaza said:


Econet Reduces Mobile Line Sim Cards To US$2

Econet announced today the reduction of its mobile line’s price from US$5 to US$2. The US$2 includes airtime worth a dollar. This follows a similar move by its closest competitor, Telecel Zimbabwe, about 2 months ago.

Adverts by Econet in the local press today urge customers to act now as ‘offer’ is only “valid while stocks last!” We’re not sure what exactly is meant by this statement. Maybe Econet will revert to the $5 when they run out ‘stocks’. And the ‘stocks’, is this the physical sim cards itself or capacity on the network?


When Solar Meets Wireless – A Rural Telecommunications Solution

Recently the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) made an announcement that it had committed US$24 million from the Universal Services Fund (USF) for implementing eight projects in the rural areas. No specifics as to which telecoms operators had been tasked to carry out the rural network outreach programs. Also no specific areas in the 8 provinces were made public by Eng. Charles Sibanda who made the announcements.

Studies that have been conducted worldwide have identified that telecommunications is an important tool for the economic development and self-sufficiency in any society. Indeed, mobile and internet penetration are now used as key economic indicators


Telecontract ‘Illegally’ Disconnects 200 Zimbabwe Online’s Broadband Customers

We’ve been hearing rumours over the past week that Telecontract was threatening to disconnect all ZOL clients if ZOL didn’t let them bill customers directly. The rumour was confirmed yesterday when ZOL issued a press statement to explain what was going on in this troubled marriage.

Some background:

The arrangement that has been working for the two telcos until recently, was that ZOL would sign up customers for the upstream internet service they have and use Telecontract for the last mile connection to the client.


Telecel Launches ‘Mega Juice Card’, Subscribers Get US $2 Bonus Time For Every $1

Telecel Zimbabwe launched a new promotion dubbed ‘Mega Juice’, at the weekend. The new Mega Juice card, which costs US $1, gives the subscriber $2 bonus air time, effectively giving away three dollars worth of air time for the price a dollar.

The Mega Juice air time however is only valid for 24 hours from the time the air time is loaded or, in Telecel jargon, from the time the mobile phone is ‘juiced up’. As is the case with such promotions, this is valid for calls within the Telecel network.

Using the Mega Juice card they can talk to other Telecel subscribers for about 13 minutes for one dollar. With an ordinary air time card they would only be able to chat for about four minutes.


Weekly Roundup – 27 March 2010

Telecel Zimbabwe Shareholding

The Fingaz on Thursday revealed a new twist to the Telecel Zimbabwe shareholding question. Apparently Telecel International may have to cede more than just 11% shareholding to local entrepreneurs. Telecel International agreed to a POTRAZ requirement in 2007 to give up 20% of its 60% shareholding but it didn’t.

Depending on how the inclusive government deals with this, “The company could be forced to honour its initial deal it signed with Telecel Zimbabwe to offload 20 percent from its current 60 percent shareholding to indigenous players in the venture.”


Of Econet’s Liquid Telecom Fibre And Harare’s ‘Digital Revolution’

An article about the Econet metro fibre network in The Standard last week, had the following takeaway:

IMAGINE Harare, in its dilapidated state, being the most digitalised city in the world. To many, this may sound too far-fetched but for Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet and Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda it is only a matter of time before the dream is realised.

Well, yes, too far-fetched actually. The article goes on to explain a Public Private Partnership (now a buzz phrase with politicians here) where Econet’s satellite operator subsidiary, Liquid Telecom and the Harare City Council are embarking on a US$ 3.5million project to install fibre optic rings in the city.


Canonical Releases Beta 1 Of Ubuntu 10.04

Canonical released Beta 1 of Ubuntu 10.04 today. The latest version of the OS that brought Linux to the people is scheduled to be released on the 29th of April. It’s a long term support (LTS) release, and this time named after a cat, ‘Lucid Lynx’.

The Zimbabwe loco team has been active the past couple of years promoting the Ffee OS, and last year registered a milestone when the Parliament of Zimbabwe moved over all their desktop and server computers to Ubuntu 8.o4.


Chips Computing Services Wins Best Achiever Award For X3 ERP

Chips Computing Services has won the Best Achiever Award for Sage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) X3, barely a year after the product was launched in Zimbabwe.

Chips Computing Services, which holds the Sage Pastel franchise in Zimbabwe and is the official distributor of Sage and Pastel products, won the award, which is based on sales, ahead of many other participants from across the world, including South Africa and Australia.