Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Release: Econet Targets 100% 3G coverage countrywide with new Infrastructure Investment

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which according to industry data controls a commanding 98% of the LTE data customer market share, has announced a major data network upgrade that will see the mobile network market leader achieve 100% 3G coverage across the country by the end of this year. Announcing the developments at the company’s Msasa head […]

Econet takes internet revenue increase with a pinch of salt!

Econet, the countries largest Mobile Network Operator, recorded an 8,7% revenue increase in data and internet services according to the mobile operators integrated annual financial report for the year ending February 2016. Revenue for data and internet services increased from $104,17 million in the 2014-15 financial year to $113,18 million in the 2015-16 financial year. Econet’s increase in […]

Latest MTN results highlight broadband growth, effects of regulation on the telecoms group

While most of the focus in the past year for MTN has been on how it is dealing with the significant fine it received in Nigeria for failing to adhere to subscriber registration regulations, this update has also highlighted the current state of African telecoms.

Here’s a comparison of Zimbabwean internet packages

With a lot of people seeking a full comparison of what their money can get them we created a page that offers a comparison of Zimbabwean internet services. The options are listed according to the service provider as well as the type of internet (3G, ADSL, Fibre, VSAT, WiMAX).

Interview with Telecel CEO Angeline Vere: What are the mobile operator’s plans?

Recently, Techzim interviewed Telecel Zimbabwe CEO, Angeline Vere. In the interview, she highlighted some aspects of Telecel’s plans for the short to medium term, as well as some aspects relating to the investment from its current owners.

Strive Masiyiwa: We are building 100km of fibre a week

Recently, Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of Econet Wireless, was interviewed on CNN. He shared some perspectives on African broadband, the opportunity and power of technology and the internet, as well as the 100 km of infrastructure that his company is building every week across Africa.

Telecel to introduce on-net video calling, a first from Telecel

According to information gathered from our sources, Telecel Zimbabwe is set to launch Video Calling Services for its subscribers today. This will be the first time any local network operator has offered the service despite the fact that it has been available in other markets for several years. Video calling allows you to have a […]

Zimbabwe UNWTO 2013: Econet to launch 4G LTE services in Victoria Falls

Econet Chief Marketing Office, Isaiah Nyangari, announced last week that Econet will be rolling out services in Zimbabwe’s tourist town of Victoria Falls, where this year’s United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly will be held. The announcement was made at the official handover of a Communications Centre to the Ministry of Tourism by the company in Harare. The centre will be used for the UNWTO conference.

NetOne introduces internet bundles for prepaid customers

Of the three mobile operators in Zimbabwe, government owned NetOne is the only company that has been selling its internet service at a simple to understand flat US 7 cents per megabyte for all subscribers. That has changed today. The company announced the introduction of data bundles today

Econet launches 3G mobile Wi-Fi device, competes with fixed broadband providers

Last week, Econet introduced a mobile Wi-Fi (MiFi if you want) device aimed directly at “small group” broadband users. That will be your home and small business users. In many ways therefore this product competes directly with the fixed broadband providers, especially as this comes after a broadband tariff slash 3 weeks ago by the operator. Well, competes except this is also a portable dongle of sorts.

Why you should ignore the ‘We have 4G!’ adverts

In 2010, Ecoweb (and Econet subsidiary) was first to come out with the message that they had launched a 4G internet service. The company had just launched its mobile WiMax platform April 2010; a first in Zimbabwe. Of course consumers had no idea what this 4G thing was. The real benefit a lot of people saw wasn’t the speed that the new generation was supposed to offer, it was the mobility.

We have 3.9G technology, says Spiritage Communications

Speaking at a Computer Society of Zimbabwe function yesterday, Spiritage Communications Managing Director Mr. Kangai Maukazuva disclosed the company has deployed a 3.9G network. Maukazuva was presenting the topic “Communication technologies for the future” to a huge group of information technology professionals. The presentation centered on the evolution in telecommunications to next generation networks (NGNs).

Consumer rights and Zimbabwe’s telecoms sector

A free market economy is a sound development catalyst as jobs, opportunities and wealth are created. Unfortunately; as has been the case with anything unbalanced, capitalism can be downright devastating if left to its own devices. One cannot help but to think of scandals like Enron, Worldcom, Renaissance Zimbabwe and numerous others. Insatiable greed is a reality. Conversely too much government control in any economy can result in stagnation due to a lack of incentive and purpose. A fine balance of the two is a trusted success formula.

ICT incumbents, the times they are a-changin’

I’ve met more than enough Zimbabweans (geeks and ordinary humans alike) who feel that the local ICT sector is not up to scratch. When asked to specify what being “up to scratch” is, most immediately and rather animatedly set off an explosive cache of various beliefs, facts and figures. However correct some of the well informed opinion holders may be, there are a few cold facts that have rendered their sentiments to the confines of wishful thinking. They are as follows:

Valley Technologies, a possible game changer for Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry

Today, we spent the better part of the morning at the Spiritage network operation center in Harare. We were invited along with a dozen other writers from the various media houses in Zimbabwe to a “pre-launch media briefing” of the business group.

First, let me say of all the Zim internet access providers (IAPs) we’ve talked to in recent months, today was the first time we felt we were at a company that’s set to take on the big incumbents head-on and possibly redefine Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry going forward.

VoIP: The future of voice communication in Zimbabwe

IP Telephony has been around since as early as 1973 and has over the past decade been enhanced to attain telephone (PSTN) voice quality. Today VoIP services are offered internationally by traditional telecom operators (e.g. BT in the UK) and dedicated IP phone networks like Skype.

The Econet Mobile Broadband Letdown

To say we didn’t wait with abated breath for one year would be a lie. We waited. We naively thought Econet would use its muscle and deep pockets to roll out the most affordable mobile broadband service.

Africom Mobile Broadband Services Prices

It is common knowledge now that Zimbabweans are going to be getting better quality mobile Internet within the next 2 weeks. Whether it’s going to be affordable or not is of course another matter altogether and a discussion for when the official tariff schedules come out.

Africom Delays Launch Of Paid Mobile Internet Services

When Africom launched mobile internet services about a month ago, it was with a one month free bandwidth promotion for all customers. The promotion was due to expire on 10 October, when Africom said it would unveil the tariff schedule for the new services. 10 October came and passed and it’s emerging Africom is not ready yet.

Econet to Launch Econet Broadband In Less Than A Week

Early this month, Econet promised to launch a comprehensive mobile Internet service at the end of the month. Talking to Econet staff lately, Techzim got the impression that Econet is about to launch something so impressive it’ll blow our minds off. And as one guy put it, “it’s going to be a game changer”.

PowerTel Opens Up 3G To More Subscribers As Mobile Broadband Competition Heats Up

We’ve just learnt that PowerTel, the state owned Internet Access Provider, has opened up its 3G service PowerConnect, to more subscribers. Powertel launched the mobile Internet service in 2007 but stopped signing up more subscribers after its network system reached capacity. Opening PowerConnect to new subscribers follows a network expansion project that has seen higher […]

Econet Says Wait Till Late October for Mobile Broadband

No sooner had I hit ‘publish’ on an article about the suspension of Ecoweb Mobile WiMax sales, than a new SMS notification buzzed on my phone. It’s a broadcast message from Econet (You get to do this when you own a huge mobile network) and it confirms what we’ve been writing these past few weeks. It says:

Ecoweb Quietly Suspends Selling Mobile WiMax

Many people wanting to buy the Ecoweb Mobile WiMax service this week were met with an unpleasant surprise: Ecoweb customer service agents are telling prospective customers that the service is no longer available for new customers.

Econet to Launch ‘Econet Broadband’

We just learnt from a contact that Econet will be launching new broadband services shortly. The new services will be branded ‘Econet Broadband’. The services will be a combination of the 4G mobile WiMax from Ecoweb (a subsidiary) and the 3G services introduced by Econet last year

Telecel Currently Testing 3G, to Launch by September

After a couple of questions here on the blog about when Telecel will introduce 3G, we decided to reach out to Telecel last week to get an update straight from the horse’s mouth.

When Econet’s 3G Will Open To All Subscribers

Since Econet launched 3G on it’s network last year in August, the services has had more than a few problems. First it was that 3G itself was only limited to the greater Harare.

The Ecoweb 4G Mobile WiMax Coverage Map

Since we posted that Ecoweb started selling 4G mobile WiMax last week, we’ve been trying to get some solid information on the network coverage of the new technology. We requested a coverage map but the response we got what was something to the effect of “tell us a location and we’ll tell you if it’s covered or not”. A polite way of saying “No”.

Ecoweb’s 4G Mobile WiMax Coming Next Week

We just got information that Ecoweb, the ISP arm of Zimbabwe telecoms giant, Econet, will start selling their 4G mobile WiMax next week. According to our source, Ecoweb is just waiting for an approval of the proposed pricing by the telecoms regulatory authority POTRAZ.

We got a glimpse of the pricing and hey, dear reader, if you want a piece of the latest (and ideally fastest) mobile internet in town, please prepare to reach deep into your pockets. The mobile WiMax dongle like the one pictured here will cost US $170. The dongle attaches to the USB port to enable your PC to connect to the WiMax network. Like Econet’s 3G, internet access is a flat monthly charge. But don’t let that ‘flat’ word fool you; it’s US $100 per month!

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.

Ecoweb To Launch Mobile WiMax In April

Ever since Ecoweb announced the coming launch of mobile WiMax last year in October, we’ve been waiting eagerly here at Techzim for further announcements and possibly, a launch date.

This didn’t come until last week when Ecoweb finally said something through their Econet investor relations page. Ecoweb, a wholly owned subsidiary of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe revealed that it is in the final testing phase of mobile WiMax project and will be opening it up to subscribers in next month.

Speaking about the deployment, Ecoweb General Manager, Tororiro Isaac Chaza said: