Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Minister says Econet buying expensive bandwidth from Liquid Telecom Group (Update)

Liquid Telecom Mauritius is the holding company for Liquid Telecom Group. So, according to what the Minister has pointed out, Econet Wireless, which acquires its bandwidth from Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe, is essentially paying a significant premium on bandwidth to a sister company instead of acquiring it from cheaper alternative suppliers.

Here’s why your TelOne ADSL service has been very slow lately

Over the past couple of days users of TelOne’s ADSL broadband service have complained that the internet’s been very slow, erratic and, in some cases no internet at all to speak of. We contacted TelOne to establish what the problem is and the company says they (well, their partner in Mozambique) suffered a service failure and they had to reroute internet traffic to some not so good routes.

WIOCC completes submarine cables repairs

WIOCC, operators of the largest submarine cable on Africa’s west coast, announced today that repairs on fibre cables between Egypt and France (which broke several weeks ago) have been completed.

Zimbabwe Broadband Forum Preview: The Eassy undersea cable and national capacity

The EASSy undersea cable runs across Africa’s Eastern coastline and is operated by the WIOCC Consortium that includes Zimbabwe’s Telone. It was commissioned in July 2010 and covers a total footprint of over 50 000km, connects to 30 African countries and provides 4.7tbps of bandwidth.

Cable outage in Egypt possibly work of saboteurs

Reports emerging from out of Egypt indicate that the repeated undersea fibre cable breaks happening off the coast of Egypt are actually a result of sabotage. An article on Reuters yesterday evening says Egypt’s coastguard caught three divers cutting through an undersea Internet cable yesterday.

SEACOM’s recovery cable fails, causing yet another internet slowdown

If you’re still experiencing slow and intermittent drops of connectivity even after SEACOM announced yesterday that they restoration was complete, it’s because there’s a new failure. Apparently, one of the cables they had restored some traffic to, one called SEA-ME-WE 4, has also failed.

EASSy cable operator speaks on undersea cable outage

According to him, some reports in the media have incorrectly suggested the EASSy cable suffered a break. The break, he says, is actually on cables that they use/buy capacity on for traffic to other continents.

SEACOM restores cable connectivity for customers via alternative routes

Undersea Cable system operator, SEACOM, announced this morning that they have restored most of their customers to alternative cable routes while they work to fix the cable break between Egypt and Marseilles. According to the announcement, downstream internet providers connecting via the SEACOM cable should now be getting normal connectivity.

Zimbabwe’s internet crawls as undersea fibre outage enters 4th day

Zimbabwean internet providers relying on the onward fibre connectivity of SEACOM and EASSy, two of Africa’s major undersea cables, are facing major problems delivering internet services to customers as the the two cables have been down for close to 4 days

TelOne appoints Chipo Mtasa new Managing Director

Information reaching us suggests that TelOne is about to announce the appointment of Chipo Mtasa as new managing director of the company. Mtasa will take over from acting MD, Hampton Mhlanga who, according to our sources, will resume his substantive post of Technical Director of the fixed line operator and internet provider.

4 executives in Africa among world’s most powerful people in telecoms

Four executives in African telecoms companies have been listed in the Global Telecoms Business Power 100, a list of the world’s most powerful individuals in telecommunications. The four are; Zimbabwean born Sifiso Dabengwa the CEO of MTN in South Africa, Shameel Joosub the CEO of the Vodacom Group, Chris Wood, the chairman of undersea fibre […]

TelOne announces backhaul fibre availablility for operators & companies

TelOne, the state owned and Zimbabwe’s sole fixed telecoms company announced today the availability of backhaul transmission facilities for leasing to other telecoms operators, government institutions, private companies and NGOs. According to the announcement, the backhaul connections are available on the SDH interfaces and IP Ethernet interfaces. The units of bandwidth announced are the following: […]

PowerTel, Utande and other ISPs also affected by Mozambique fibre cable outage

We reported last week that TelOne internet significantly slowed down for several days last week due to fibre cable damage in Mozambique. We’re getting updates this week, that while the problem is now fixed, it’s not just TelOne that was affected by the issue. PowerTel and Utande were affected too, and from what we gather, in a much more severe way.

TelOne Internet slows down after fibre cut in Mozambique

A fibre cable cut in Maputo, Mozambique that occurred on Wednesday 9 May has adversely affected TelOne’s internet services. The problem affected at least all TelOne ADSL users in Zimbabwe whose internet significantly slowed down, with some users not able to access the service at all. According to our sources at Zimbabwe’s sole fixed telecoms operator, after the cut, all its internet traffic got rerouted through existing satellite links, which are much slower than fibre and have limited capacity.

LION2 undersea cable system launches to become Kenya’s fourth cable

Yesterday, another undersea fibre cable went live in East Africa. The cable, the second Lower Indian Ocean Network submarine cable (LION2) is reportedly now commercially operational LION2 is an extension of the first LION undersea cable and now provides a direct link from Kenya to Madagascar, St. Paul Reunion, and Mauritius, the three countries that were connected by LION back in 2009. LION2 also connects to the island of Mayotte, a France overseas department.

TelOne responds on extent of internet disruption from EASSy cable break

Earlier this week we reported that the TelOne had been affected by the EASSy cable breakage between Djibouti and Port Sudan almost 3 weeks ago. We sent TelOne some questions on the extent of disruption that the EASSy issue has caused them. We also asked them if some recent ADSL issues were related to the EASSy cable break.

East Africa undersea cable outage enters third week

It’s now week 3 since it was first reported that an undersea fibre cable on the shores of East Africa was down. Then, it was reported that the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) had broken on 17 February 2012 and that a repair vessel had been sent to fix the problem. Eventually it became clear the situation was worse.

EASSy cable down

The East Africa Submarine System (EASSy) has a section of its undersea fibre cable broken since 17 February 2012. The broken section is between Djibouti and Port Sudan and according to reports, WIOCC, the consortium that owns the cable, has already started efforts to repair the cable.

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.

5.12 Terabits WACS undersea cable lands in Cape Town

Today, the West African Cable Systems (WACS), arrived at the shores of Cape Town in South Africa. The cable connects to the United Kingdom through the West African coast where it has 11 connection points in the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, the DRC, Angola and Namibia.

TelOne’s fibre connection on EASSy now live, total 2.48 Gbps lit

The Harare-Mozambique TelOne backbone fibre is now live. The state owned fixed telecoms operator has announced that the cable now links the state owned fixed operator to the East African Submarine System (EASSy) undersea cable through Mozambique.

TelOne has taken up initial capacity of 2.48 Gbps (16 x STM-1s) and according to the company the expectation is that this will grow to 15 Gbps in the next 10 years.

Upped to 4.72 Tbps, EASSY now constitutes 70% of Africa’s east coast undersea cables

The EASSy cable, in which local state owned fixed operator TelOne has a stake through WIOCC, has had its design capacity upgraded to 4.72 Tbps. According to the West Indian Ocean Cable Company, the upgrade makes EASSy by far the highest capacity submarine cable on the east African coast.

The recent capacity upgrade follows another upgrade to 3.84 Tbps made to the cable in August last year. The EASSy cable was launched in July 2010 with an initial design capacity of 1.42 Tbps.

A history of Africa’s undersea cables (presentation)

Whenever we need to illustrate something about the undersea fibre cables along the shores of Africa, we use the African Undersea Cables map on The map clearly illustrates details about the cables without complicating the graphic.

Botswana telecoms regulator issues price reductions directive

The Southern Times posted today that Botswana’s telecoms regulator, Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA), has issued a directive to telecommunications operators in the country to effect price reductions on telecoms services. Services to be affected by the directive include wholesale ADSL (broadband Internet delivered through a standard fixed line), mobile termination and fixed termination among others.

EASSy to be Switched on Tomorrow, 16 July 2010

The EASSy undersea fibre cable will go live tomorrow, 16 July 2010. The EASSy commercial launch follows the completion of three successful tests that have been carried out on the cable in the last few months.

Weekly Roundup – 27 March 2010

Telecel Zimbabwe Shareholding

The Fingaz on Thursday revealed a new twist to the Telecel Zimbabwe shareholding question. Apparently Telecel International may have to cede more than just 11% shareholding to local entrepreneurs. Telecel International agreed to a POTRAZ requirement in 2007 to give up 20% of its 60% shareholding but it didn’t.

Depending on how the inclusive government deals with this, “The company could be forced to honour its initial deal it signed with Telecel Zimbabwe to offload 20 percent from its current 60 percent shareholding to indigenous players in the venture.”