Connectivity

Fes’bhuku play: The impact of social media on Zimbabwe’s rural communities

If you’re in Harare, you love theatre, and have an interest in the impact of the internet and social media on social and political issues, here’s something you’ll not want to miss: From 7 December (Yesterday) to 17 December 2011, a play called Fes’bhuku will be showing at Theatre in the Park in Harare. The term "Fes’bhuku" is a loan translation of "Facebook" into the Shona vernacular.
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Connectivity

Digital music sales in Zimbabwe. Taking it to the next level

Online music stores have been on the rise globally and continue to gain momentum. Selling music files on a per-song, albums and/or subscription basis at lower prices has become a phenomenon. Online music stores such as iTunes and Amazon MP3are now the biggest music retailers in the US, selling almost 25% of all music in the US. This represents opportunities for businesses in developing ICT markets like Zimbabwe and can help revive the countries' music industries which have been on a downward spiral.
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Connectivity

Firewall of China: paranoia or sovereignty shield

From ancient times, the Chinese have been characteristically paranoid about their security. Many years later, the types of attacks to fend off have mutated, but the paranoia remains; and understandably so. With cyber warfare increasingly becoming important, the People’s Liberation Army has inevitably bolstered efforts to fortify its information firewall.
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Broadband

What to consider when buying a VSAT based internet service in Zimbabwe

Before fiber came to prominence in Zimbabwe this year, VSAT was how all the bandwidth in Zimbabwe was landed by Internet Access Providers’s . This was done with much larger scale equipment than I mentioned above, think the mazoe earth station if you have seen it. Satellite bandwidth is much more expensive than fiber bandwidth, because of the costs associated with launching and maintaining a satellite in space. The change from satellite bandwidth to fibre is the main reason we have seen Internet connectivity prices come down significantly.
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Miscellaneous

Entrepreneur Interviews: Lovemore Mukono, co-founder of Mukonitronics (full Interview)

Recently we held an interview with Lovemore Mukono, the co-founder and CEO of Mukonitronics. Mukonitronics is one of Africa’s leading power technology companies in terms of design and manufacturing industrial power electronic products for the local and export market. The range of Mukonitronics products include power electronics for mining, power generation and transmission, electricity distribution, telecommunications, railway and industrial automation.
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“We are targeting at raising our subscriber base to 1 million” says TelOne

Yesterday, a Bulawayo state owned publication, the Chronicle, carried an article about the state owned fixed line operator, TelOne. According to the article, an infrastructure upgrade exercise is underway at TelOne as part of a multi-million dollar deal with Huawei International and Alcatel Lucent. The first phase will be complete this month, the article says, and when all work has been completed, TelOne will have a subscriber capacity of at least a million subscribers.
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Connectivity

Altfin and NetOne launch mobile phone based medical aid service

NewsDay reports today that an Altfin Holdings subsidiary, Altfin Medical Aid Scheme, and state owned mobile operator, NetOne, have launched a new mobile phone based medical aid scheme. The scheme is called MedAccess. NetOne is the technical partner in the project. Subscribers will be able to register for the new service using their NetOne mobile phone numbers as the medical scheme’s registration numbers.
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Broadband

Some Econet mobile broadband subscriber stats. eTXT. EconetMail

Yesterday, we got the opportunity to discuss a few things about Econet Broadband with Leon de Fleuriot, the Chief Commercial Officer – Broadband at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. We talked about the number of mobile broadband subscribers, eTXT, EconetMail and other things. We also discussed some issues Techzim readers suggested on our Facebook Page and Twitter.
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Connectivity

Of social media badges and moving with the times

You've probably seen it yourself a couple of times; a company (big often) slaps a Facebook badge on its website and print adverts despite the fact that their Facebook page has no activity at all on it. Sometimes the page doesn't even exist. It’s nothing but a statement to their visitors: We’re moving with the times!
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Broadband

TelOne to benefit from additional WIOCC cables

WIOCC, the special purpose vehicle that TelOne is part of, has entered a strategic partnership with Cable & Wireless Worldwide to increase the reach and reliability of the WOICC cable system. The new partnership means WIOCC is now effectively invested in two additional submarine cable systems, the Europe India Gateway (EIG) and West Africa Cable System (WACS) that C&W owns.
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Connectivity

Stimulating competition in telecoms with Mobile Number Portability

Dollar for three are the buzzwords for Telecel customers, which refers to Telecel’s popular mega-juice airtime top-up card which costs $1 but offers $3 worth of value, i.e. $1 allowing off-net calls, $1 bonus for on-net calls and a $1 data bundle worth 10MB. Tariff wise, Telecel offers a $0.23 rate across all networks. Compare this to the $0.23-0.25 depending on call destination by the other mobile operators.
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Connectivity

iZimbabwe announces business directory

Yesterday, iZimbabwe, the new portal by Umuntu media announced the availability of a business directory platform on their website. Business directory means online classifieds in the mould of the Zimbabwe’s leader of online classifieds classifieds.co.zw.
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Connectivity

The Bulawayo ICT Expo (pictures)

Last week, the Computer Society of Zimbabwe held its first ever ICT exhibition in Bulawayo at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair center. The exhibition was organized by the Bulawayo chapter team led by Victoria Phiri, Mduduzi Gwebu and Janet Kahari. According to the organisers, the exhibition attracted 16 exhibitors; Burco Technologies, Realtime, Ministry of ICT, Compu-Pro, Nust, Info-Hut, Macqtech, Speciss College, ZimClassifieds, UCNA, Prodsoftware, Munn Marketing, IwayAfrica, Telone, Africom and the Computer Society of Zimbabwe itself.
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Connectivity

Now you can Tweet for a cab in Harare

So, how do you currently call for a cab in Harare when you need one? Give the cab driver a call? An SMS? Does it cost you airtime every time to do this? Do you always get a response on time? If you have a smartphone, (or just a regular internet connection at a desktop) there’s a new service in town you might want to give a try. It’s called Tweet-A-Cab.
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Connectivity

Techzim giveaway: Brodacom Plug ‘n Go device with 1GB data bundle

Last week, we posted a review of 3 internet (one of them primarily voice) devices that Brodacom is selling with their new mobile broadband. You can read the review here. Spiritage has availed one of those gadgets, pictured below, for a giveaway to a lucky reader. It’s called the Plug ‘n Go and its shelve value is $99.50. This giveaway unit will come loaded with 1 Gigabyte of data. The device will also come with a desk phone for making calls on the Brodacom network.
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Broadband

Aquiva Wireless latest coverage map: Harare, Byo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Mutare

The last time we wrote about Aquiva was back in February this year when, in an interview with the founders, the company revealed that they were rolling out WiMax base stations in Harare and Bulawayo and that they would be providing voice services as well. Well, since then, according to the company’s latest coverage map it has spread its WiMax network to Mutare, Kwekwe and Gweru. See below. Aquiva Wireless is one of the 12 POTRAZ licensed Internet Access Providers in Zimbabwe.
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Broadband

Dear Brodacom, please stop with these false claims already

If you’re in Zimbabwe and checked the newspapers yesterday, you probably saw the Brodacom advert above. The advert claims that before Brodacom came along, setting up fixed broadband in Zimbabwe used to cost US $3,500 and that thanks to Brodacom, that figure has been brought down to US $99.50, the price of Brodacom’s Wi-Fi device for small businesses and individuals.
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Broadband

Maybe Africom’s $18 gigabyte bundle really is unsustainable?

When Africom unveiled its mobile broadband service pricing last year in October it was to the delight of a market frustrated by exorbitantly priced internet (in the case of Econet) or just internet that didn’t work much (hello PowerTel). We commented then that on price Africom’s service was “by far a preferable alternative”. We still believe so.
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A vote of confidence for Telecel

Orascom Telecom have ceased their fence sitting ways with Telecel Zimbabwe in a big way. The Independent reported on Friday that the company will pump in $70 million into Telecel Zimbabwe. This move is very significant for the company beyond monetary value as Vimpelcom (Orascom’s parent) has made a commitment to channel its global resources for the benefit of the local unit.
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