We spent most of last week with three gadgets we got from Econet for review: A Huawei Ideos U8150 smartphone, an Ideos X5 Pro smartphone and an Ideos S7 Slim tablet. This review will focus on the U8150 pictured below. We’ll post separate reviews for the other two devices.
Drishti-Soft, a leading CIM technology innovator, and Africcs, Zimbabwe's leading customer care consultancy firm, enter into a business alliance to tap the huge contact center market of Zimbabwe and neighboring countries. With a presence in more than 15 other countries of African Continent, Drishti further strengthens its base through this partnership.
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.
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.
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.
Starting last week, Econet has been appending the name of the company to some SMS messages sent from the network. It reads “@ Econet Wireless”. Most people we’ve talked to say they started receiving the ‘labelled' SMSes last week on Friday. But that the appended text doesn’t come with every SMS. It’s random.
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.
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.
Here’s a challenge for Zim graphic designers: Between 5 December 2011 and 31 January 2012, you have the opportunity design a new logo for the iZimbabwe online portal and stand a chance to win the US$1,000 prize money. muntu Media, the company that launched iZimbabwe last month, announced the competition yesterday.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It is 01 December 2011. D-day for Dhiri. The new startup promised two weeks ago they’d launch today. And launch they have, with their first daily deal sent to subscribers on email and SMS:
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.
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.
So what have Zimbabweans been asking Google this past month? Google has a tool called Google Insights for Search that can give us that answer. Top on the list of the things that interested Zimbabweans the most is Malema. Malema of course is the South Africa politician who’s been in the news lately.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chips Computing Services, which represents Sage Pastel in Zimbabwe, was named top international Sage Pastel business partner for 2010-11 at an awards dinner held earlier this month at the Mount Grace Hotel in Magaliesberg, South Africa.
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.