A limited violation of Net Neutrality can help the education sector in Zimbabwe without serving corporate greed
I have always found the debate around net neutrality to be outrageous. What is there to debate — Should capitalism be allowed to reap the nursery sown and grown by socialism? Should corporate Darwinian free market chaos be allowed to overrun the fair, just order of the virtual realm as well? Should the world’s greatest […]
Have you been seeing all the talk about net neutrality all over the internet and wondering what it is all about? Yes? Then you have come to the right place. I would strongly suggest you read a previous article we published on the issue first. Click here. Net neutrality has been topical because the FCC […]
At the Broadband Economy Conference held last month the issue of net neutrality was discussed by top executives from various relevant organisations. We then summarised what was discussed and gave links to the videos of the panel discussions and called it a day. That was premature, it turns out. A conversation I had recently made […]
Bundles, Zero-rating and Net Neutrality in Zimbabwe’s #BroadbandEconomy. A critical issue unprioritised
One of the key issues discussed at Techzim’s just ended Broadband Economy Conference was that of Bundles for third party sites & apps, Zero rating and net neutrality. After a net neutrality discussion at previous Broadband Economy Conference had established that the telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, didn’t consider net neutrality a critical issue, we decided this […]
WhatsApp is NOT news! – Social media’s dominance in Zimbabwean internet use creates fertile ground for fake news
Zimbabwe hasn’t been immune to the challenges of fake news. Other than the emergence of news platforms that rely on clickbait there is also the impact of internet access being limited largely to social media.
The phone number was traditionally a valuable asset to mobile telecoms operators. Once a customer bought a sim card, the MNO’s job was to keep that customer on the network as long as possible while ensuring that the customer was using the sim card for things that made the network money – making calls, sending SMSs, mobile money transactions, buying […]
Allo, Google’s messaging app serves up artificial intelligence brilliantly, but still won’t beat WhatsApp
Allo, Google’s messaging app serves up artificial intelligence brilliantly, but in Zimbabwe it still won’t beat WhatsApp.
EU stops network level ad blocking citing net neutrality issues, role of African regulators highlighted in the process
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) recently published its guidelines on net neutrality which will be used as for crafting net neutrality rules by regulators in Europe. Some of the guidelines touched on the issue of network level ad blocking which has already been trialled by some mobile networks in countries like […]
Econet’s ad blocking is great, but it’s also a net neutrality violator, regulatory minefield & potential Mafia shakedown
Tucked away in Econet’s plans to deliver a better web experience there are risks of major regulatory violations as well as the unethical application of technology under the guise of protecting subscribers.
Lately there has been increased interest, interference, regulation and policy pronouncements in the Zimbabwean telecommunications arena; while some of these initiatives at face value seem beneficial to the consumer, there is need to unpack them to understand their import in terms of the possible ulterior motives. In this piece I will focus on the proposed […]
Earlier today the Media Insititute of Southern Africa (MISA) and the local telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, brought together the country’s internet service providers and mobile networks operators for a discussion on net neutrality.
Less than a week ago, Newsday, one of Zimbabwe’s leading daily publications started using the feature. This national daily which is owned by Alpha Media Holdings becomes the first major Zimbabwean publication to use Instant Articles ahead of its rivals like the ZSE listed Zimpapers and Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ).
Every year, we post something drastic for April Fools and this year we decided to go touch something a lot of people clearly love; their WhatsApp Bundles. So we ran with “Local telecoms regulator POTRAZ bans WhatsApp bundles, operators given 7 days to comply“, and as per tradition, at 12 midday we added an update to […]
Local telecoms regulator POTRAZ bans WhatsApp bundles, operators given 7 days to comply (April Fools)
Zimbabwe’s telecommunications regulator, POTRAZ, has announced that it will be banning all over the top service bundles for applications like WhatsApp, Facebook and Opera Mini.
A local developer and tech security buff, Trevor Sibanda, decided to develop his own bot service, called Zimbot. He has fashioned it around content that is specific to a Zimbabwean audience. So far he has been trying out its demo version and gathering feedback from the pilot users to fine tune the bot service.
Now that the Instant Articles tool is going to be an option for sharing content with an audience that is already engaged through social media, publishers that have often used Facebook just for promoting content and trying to lure readers to their own platforms can embrace the social network as a primary publisher’s tool.
The rap artist’s latest single, Tongogara, from his upcoming album Morning Glory, is being distributed via WhatsApp for $1 with fans paying for the track via mobile money. So far it has earned the artist over US$5,000 in less than a week.
Free Basics & internet colonialism in Zim, Econet’s Chitoro,’O’ Level STEM, Facebook Classifieds – podcast
In this episode, we discuss the ban of Free Basics in India and the subsequent discussion on “internet colonialism” that was kicked up by Mark Andreesen; the EcoCash remittances strategy around Econet’s acquisition of Chitoro; Facebook Classifieds in Zimbabwe and how the Ordinary Level results are feeding into government’s drive for STEM.
While net neutrality proponents celebrated the victory, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook and the man pushing for Free Basics took to Facebook (where else, really) to express his disappointment and to let people know that his team wouldn’t be giving up on India or its mission to offer a free internet.
About a year ago, when the zero rating of an app called biNu was announced by Econet we wrote in an article titled “Will Econet Zero-rating restore it to former glory“: In terms of popularity, this move may spell biNu’s come back in Zimbabwe. The free in yesteryear’s “free SMS” is back! This past November biNu’s total active users were just […]
The net neutrality cause got a huge boost today when the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) permanently banned Facebook’s Free Basics on the grounds of net neutrality violations.
Telecel was recently confirmed as the mobile operator which will be offering Facebook and Internet.org’s Free Basics service. We discuss that issue in this episode, as well as the impact WhatsApp regulation will have on African telecoms. We also touch on the latest POTRAZ report and some of the highlights sprinkled in the industry’s quarterly release.
In the latest bit of information to be shared about the service, it has been confirmed that Telecel is the mobile operator that will be partnering with Facebook and Internet.org for the launch in the Zimbabwe. This information was shared by sources working on the Free Basics implementation.
Free Basics is set for launch in Zimbabwe and here are some requirements that site owners have to meet if they want to sign up their properties on it.
Egypt becomes the second country to block the service after India made the move as part of a response to concerns raised around Free Basics’ net neutrality violations. Etisalat Egypt, Facebook, and Egyptian officials haven’t mentioned the reason behind the shutdown in Egypt but there has been a lot of speculation that the country is also concerned about the same net neutrality violations.
Internet.org, the project from Facebook which facilitates free internet access to specific website and platforms, and is now working under the name of Free Basics, is set to be launched for the Zimbabwean market in January 2016.
Classifieds CEO: Ownai zero-rating could present a challenge, but we’re in a good position to combat it
Some aspects of their offering which leverage their incumbency as Zim’s largest MNO could present a challenge for us. However, additional experience, technology and marketing from OAM put us in a good position to combat that.
Steve Song, suggests that we explore treating connectivity to the internet the same way we treat connectivity to the phone network – that is we let everyone be part of the network at a very basic low connection speed like 2G
In this podcast, we discuss some of the Black Friday deals, including some that will last over the next few days. We also discuss Econet’s court case, the return of Ownai, Zimbabwe’s domain issue and the closure of Econet Global’s Seldon.
Econet is looking past all of that, though. According to Douglas Mboweni, Econet’s CEO, the telecoms operator wants its customers who are running small businesses to see the operator as a partner that will help them make money. Tools like Ownai are supposed to enable this by offering free marketing of goods to Econet’s broadband customers.