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Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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ZOU Starts Using Open Source eLearning Platform Claroline

On Thursday, the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) officially launched a new Learning Management System website, ZOU Online. The new system uses the open source eLearning and eWorking platform, Claroline, and like typical Learning Management Systems, it allows lecturers to build online courses and manage learning and collaborative activities on the web.

The Zimbabwe Open University has implemented the new system in partnership with a local ICT company. We’re yet to establish which ICT company this is. We will let you know once we find out.


Axis Solutions In New Partnership With The Westcon Group

On Thursday we attended the launch of a new partnership between Zimbabwe ICT infrastructure solutions provider, Axis Solutions, and South African based distributor of converged communications solutions, Westcon. The event was held the Crown Plaza Hotel in Harare.

The event started with a presentation of the Axis’ main current drive and main business focus, which, as explained by Axis support executive Emmanuela Manyowa is information security, ICT service management.


Portnet is HIFA 2010 Official IT Partner

Portnet Corporation this year will be official provider of Information Technology services to the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA). This means Portnet will basically provide all the computer systems running HIFA behind the scenes.

This is your servers, racks, switches, routers, desktops, laptops, networks and the like. Printers and document management equipment and systems as well. Yes, there’s all that going on behind the scenes to make HIFA the perennial success it is!


It’s Six Months Later And Econet Still Has No 3G For New Subscribers

On 28 August 2009, Econet launched 3G services on its network. Then, we criticized Econet for not providing enough information to subscribers about the new service. A little over a month later, Econet quietly suspended the activation of more subscribers to 3G services.

No public announcement of the service suspension was made. You’d just visit an Econet service center and get told that the services were temporarily suspended. And that if you came back after a few weeks, you’d get all the 3G you wanted. In the press, all we read was that the service had received an overwhelming response. Looking back, Econet obviously meant the ‘overwhelming’ part literally.


Update on Zimbabwe’s Broken Sites: Still Broken

Last year we posted an article titled “Zimbabwe’s Broken Websites: Telecoms Operators”. The article basically pointed out some glaring omissions and commissions on the websites of some of the biggest telecom companies. Most of these errors can be corrected easily with a little effort and within a few minutes.

We promised to do a follow-up article on the issues we noted, so here it is. It’s mostly still the same issues we talked about then and the sad thing about all this is that, for the ones we could reach, we even went to the extent of advising them. Nonetheless, for all you telecom companies, here’s some free website quality check, again.


New Twist to ZOL/Telecontract Dispute: Telco Threatens To Sue

After the successful transfer of the 200 disconnected customers to Africom last week, we concluded in our weekly round-up, that the ZOL/Telco dispute was finally (and thankfully) over. We were wrong.


Weekly Roundup – 10 April 2010

TelOne, Telkom Talks
The Herald on Thursday continued with the TelOne/Telkom story that’s been appearing now and again for a while now. This time TelOne spokesperson Mr Collin Wilbes, just confirmed that negotiations are still ongoing but that he couldn’t give details.


When Solar Meets Wireless – A Rural Telecommunications Solution – Part 3

Telecom Center (Phone & Internet Center)

Think of a telecom center as a setup with phone, e-mail and internet services. This model is pretty common in urban setups. And this model could be used for remote centers and even some urban centers whose electricity supply is more often off than on.

As such the telecom center will have 3 distinct elements: phone center, internet center and the control system.

This test system is for 8 phones and 8 workstations.


Econet Opens New Call Centre As Subscriber Base Crosses The 4 Million Mark

Today, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe opened a new call centre in Graniteside, Harare. The large call center (see pictures below), which has the capacity to handle more than 15,000 customer calls an hour was described by Econet CEO, Mr. Douglas Mboweni as “the biggest and most sophisticated in the country”.

Mr. Douglas Mboweni took the opportunity today to announce that the mobile operator’s subscriber base had passed the 4 million mark and that this exponential growth in subscriber numbers had spurred the need for the larger and more modern call center.


ZOL Issues An Update On Disconnections, Warns All Telco Customers About Telco’s Liquidity

We just got another press statement that ZOL has issued on the Telco/ZOL disconnections for publication tomorrow . We’ve uploaded the press statement here, since the ZOL PR page on this issue hasn’t been updated yet (UPDATE (08 April 2010:1300hrs): the ZOL page has been updated)

The statement is titled “Update on unlawful disconnection by Telecontract and disruption of ZOL internet service and response to Telco press statement.” The update: Of the 200 customers disconnected on 25 March, 57 are still offline but will be moved to Africom by the time the statement is published – probably means by tomorrow morning.