On November 30 2009, we posted an article titled “Ambitious New Telecoms Operator, Broadlands Networks”. In the article, we expressed our reservations on some (now) clearly overambitious statements made by Broadlands Networks CEO, Chemist Siziba in a local weekly paper.
Then, Broadlands promised that there’d be “…no blade of grass that we will not cover in January.” Obviously, this did not happen. It’s March now and I personally do not know of a blade of grass that has been covered. If you, dear reader do, please let us know in the comments section below. What we’ve seen though is the emergence of a row between Broadlands and the telecommunications regulator. The kind of wrangling that starts when things are not in order. You know, the TeleAccess kind of row.
Google on Friday announced “Google Code Jam Africa 2010”, a coding contest event in which professional and student programmers are asked to solve complex algorithmic challenges in a limited amount of time. The competition is a web-based test and participants can program in the coding language and development environment of their choice.
Registration for the contest runs up to 15 March and Round 1 of the competition starts on the same date. Successful coders will battle it out in round 2 after 7 days.
I received a page suggestion yesterday to a not so usual Zimba page on Facebook. One that doesn’t hide it’s feelings for G-Tide. It’s called “I Hate G-TIDE Cell Phones”. First I thought well, negative campaigns are not new on Facebook but I’ll just check it out and leave. But then I looked at the number of fans and stopped a bit.
The page was created yesterday morning (Zim time) and by the time I viewed it in the evening, 51 people had subscribed. I visited it just now to find the fans had doubled to 111! No mean feat for a Zim page just 2 days old. The viral effect is working against the Tide here!
We finally received a copy of the strategic plan from the ministry. Here it is for download.
We provide a summary of the most significant strategic objectives for those of you too ‘busy’ to read the whole document. We also note a few important issues at the end, that we feel are lacking in the ICT ministry’s’ strategic plan.
We attended the launch of the ICT strategic plan yesterday. An overview of the the strategic plan; what went into it, how it was developed and how it is going to be implemented (and monitored) was given by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Eng. Kundishora.
Unfortunately there were no copies of the strategic plan for the audience to take home, but we’ll lay our hands on one in good time and post it here. Click back here in a few hours.
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.