Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


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.


A Message To ZOL And Telecontract: It Didn’t Have To Come To This

The last two weeks have been a nightmare for some 200 Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) customers. On 25 March 2010, a ZOL last mile connection provider, Telecontract, switched off the customers because of a payment dispute with ZOL. ZOL is arguably the largest internet service provider in Zimbabwe. Telecontract (also called Telco) too is one of the largest internet access providers locally.

To explain the disconnection situation, ZOL issued 2 press statements, absolving themselves of any wrong doing, apologizing to customers, and assuring them that they were doing everything possible to get them reconnected.


Deported Telecel Managing Director Aimable Mpore Now Back At Work

We just got news from Telecel that the deported managing director, Aimable Mpore is now back in Zimbabwe and working at Telecel again. Mr. Mpore’s appeal to the government of Zimbabwe against the withdrawal of his work permit succeeded and he returned to work yesterday (Tuesday), after arriving back in Zimbabwe on Monday.

Mr Mpore left Zimbabwe early in February, after his work permit was withdrawn for failing to reveal some information on circumstances surrounding his expulsion by the Cote d’Ivoire government last year.


Econet Officially Opening New Large Call Center Tomorrow

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is officially opening its new call center in Harare tomorrow. Econet has built a new advanced call centre to handle increased traffic from its growing subscriber base now standing at more than 3.2 million.

Speaking about the opening, Econet CEO, Mr Douglas Mboweni said that massive growth had increased demand for service and support, which Econet has responded to by building a new and larger facility to field more calls from its customers.


5 Handy Internet Apps You Can Use In Zim!

So it’s that time again when, for your health, you’re supposed to take a break and stay away from your PC and your always-buzzing mobile phone.

If you’re like me, you tried that the whole Saturday. You tried to do the other real social (not talking about Facebook here) stuff you’ve been putting off for a while now. It worked. But only for a day.

Or maybe you’re back early from a holiday. Hell, maybe you couldn’t even afford a holiday away in these hard times. Or maybe you’re one of those selfless men and women that have to work during such times.

Whatever your reason, you have some time to kill today so you’re just browsing around.


Exclusive Interview with Telecontract CEO, Shadreck Nkala Over ZOL Disconnections

Two days ago we posted an exclusive interview we had with the ZOL CEO David Behr over the broadband disconnections we posted here on Monday. David Behr revealed some interesting aspects to the story.

Later the same day, we had another exclusive with the other side, Telco CEO Shadreck Nkala. Below is the transcription of the Interview. Like ZOL, he also reveals some issues that have not been apparent before this interview. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Shadreck Nkala: It is very unfortunate. People abuse the facilities that they get provided.

Tech Zim: You feel abused?

SN: Yes, we’re feeling very seriously abused.

TZ: How were you abused?


Telecel Subscriber Base Reaches Almost One Million

Telecel Zimbabwe now has close to a million subscribers, the company’s international partner, Telecel Globe, revealed on Thursday. Telecel Globe chief executive Kai Uebach told a media briefing in Harare that Telecel Zimbabwe had invested heavily in developing its network. It was rolling out in the region of 170 base stations countrywide.

He said the quality of the network signal, which in the past had been poor, was now good. Telecel had also invested heavily in stabilising the network, through investing in generators and batteries so that the network could continue operating well even during prolonged periods without mains electricity.