The Zimbabwe Minister of ICT, Nelson Chamisa, will on 22 February launch the national ICT strategic plan for the period 2010 to 2014. The launch will take place at Jameson Hotel in Harare at 1400hrs local time.
The ICT strategic plan was approved last month and is expect to be a guideline for the country in the implementation of ICT policies and regulation. Chamisa explained that it’l be “a road map for the Ministry of ICT on how the country can strategically exploit and benefit from ICTs”.
In obvious reference to Econet’s delayed full rollout of data services to mobile, subscribers Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) is telling customers they don’t have to wait – we have great wireless broadband spread across the country and it is available right now! The message was sent out in a promotional email to customers titled “Introducing ZOLspot Wireless high-speed Broadband from just US $30. Faster than 3G and available today all over Zimbabwe!”
To use the ZOL wireless broadband, customers buy a prepaid scratch card available at any ZOLSpot and get immediate access to the Internet. The scratch cards are valid for 6 months from the first time you use them.
Vodafone yesterday announced the launch of two ultra low cost handsets targeted at consumers in the emerging markets of Africa and Asia. According to the Vodafone press release, the handsets (Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250) will launch in the coming weeks in India and across Africa.
The Vodafone 150 will retail unsubsidised at below US $15 and the Vodafone 250, US $20, depending on the local market.
Telecel, the second largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe, confirmed today that it has unearthed a recharge cards fraud case amounting to US $ 1,7 million.
The unscrupulous Telecel employees involved in the case, swindled the company through issuing recharge cards and starter packs using manual invoices, an invoicing method long banned by the company.
Ok, it’s official (well, in the unofficial sense), if you have US $150 to burn, you can make a few calls to guys who know guys, who know guys, who know guys that are selling Internet-ready Econet mobile lines and one will be delivered to your doorstep within the hour. The official price of an Econet line is US $5 and internet subscriptions cost a flat $25 a month.
We made a few calls ourselves and got offers ranging from $130 to $150. We tried to negotiate the price down with one guy and got the much expected “either you pay $150 or you don’t want the line, simple!” So business sure is brisk for these dealers from the dark side.
Starting today, if you have a Telecel mobile line and need to call someone in the US, the UK, Australia, the Emirates, China or India (Update: Canada too), you will be charged local call rates. Calls to these destinations can now be made for as little as 25 US cents. Note though that this doesn’t apply to calls to Vodafone numbers in the UK.
This compares quite favorably to making international calls on other Zim mobile networks (Econet and NetOne) which costs anything between US $0.30 and US$8,70 depending on the international grouping of the destination.
Earlier today, we posted an article on a presentation the Zimbabwe Minister of ICT made at a function organised by the computer society of zimbabwe yesterday.
We promised to make available an mp3 file of the whole presentation so here it is. We would have loved to upload the full video as well but bandwidth is an issue here.
The Zim ICT Minister on AU theme: Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Prospects and Challenges for Development
The Computer Society of Zimbabwe organized a presentation by the Zimbabwe Minister of ICT, Nelson Chamisa yesterday evening. The presentation was on the just ended African Union 14th Ordinary Summit whose theme was “Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Prospects and Challenges for Development”
He touched on using Information and Communication Technologies as instruments for achieving peace and enhancing development and disaster response. Specifically, he talked about the following issues:
Starting this month, Zimbabwe’s leading Internet Service Provider, Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) will be offering VSAT Internet services. VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) is an Internet solution capable of delivering high speed Internet to any location through satellite connectivity effectively, allowing very remote areas without telecommunication infrastructure to connect seamlessly to the internet.
Getting your own ZOL VSAT installed will cost US $1,800 (setup fees) and a minimum monthly subscription of US $180.
If you have an Econet line activated for Internet, there might be some ways to save a few extra dollars on calls and SMSes. There are some nifty tools used world over to make “free” calls and SMSes especially where the mobile network operator is kind enough to offer unlimited internet traffic for a flat monthly subscription.
What most subscribers are using for calls at the moment is Fring and Nimbuzz (our favourite). The call is made using the Skype platform so both the caller and recipient need to have Skype accounts. For SMS there’s mjoy, a mobile web application to send texts for free to almost anywhere in the world.