Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Bans Cryptocurrency Trading. Banks Given 60 days To Comply (Full Statement)

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has issued a directive to Zimbabwean financial institutions prohibiting them from working with Cryptocurrency exchanges or holding any accounts of people trading in cryptos. The central bank has given financial institutions 60 days to end their existing relationships with crypto-currency exchanges. Here’s the full circular issued on 11 May 2018: […]


Data price reviews, # tags and the cents of it all: Looking from a reverse angle

Who remembers 2008? Everybody who was alive then (even those who were mere toddlers) do. Do you remember the price slashes effected by the National Incomes and Pricing Commission (NIPC) led by VaMasimirembwa? What was the motivation behind these moves and what was their effects? I remember vividly seeing a man walking out of a […]


MTN fined $8.5 million in Rwanda

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator has been fined $8.5 million (7 billion francs) in Rwanda for not sticking to the terms of its license in running IT services. An announcement on the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority website says the authority has made a decision to “impose administrative sanctions on MTN Rwanda Ltd for non-compliance with Directives issued […]


Advertising industry relaunches Standards Authority. About self regulation and a cure for Prejudice

On Monday I attended the re-launch of the Advertising Standards Authority. It was great for me to attend for four chief reasons: (1) A lady called Odette van der Haar  (2) I learnt a lot about self regulation within an industry (3) Attending cured me of a prejudice I had (4) The food of course. […]


Net Neutrality unboxed: What proponents in Zimbabwe fail to appreciate

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 […]


Zim government claims Econet succeeded because of protection from MTN competition

Speaking at the Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference in Harare today ICT minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, said that Econet is wrong to assume their first mover position in investing in mobile money infrastructure means they can close out other players from sharing that infrastructure. Mandiwanzira was responding to statements made earlier in the day by EcoCash Head, Natalie Jabangwe. […]


UN says online rights are also human rights and must be protected

In the last several days, some governments around the world raised their hands in solidarity with the importance of internet freedoms. The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council last week passed a landmark resolution which seeks protection of human rights on the Internet. The resolution is on “the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights […]


Liquid group CEO, Rudnick, speaks on Infrastructure Sharing

“We have seen in a small number of countries that there is an effort to force compulsory sharing of infrastructures. . . one can only wonder why that kind of policy is being implemented.”


POTRAZ revokes Telecel Zim licence. Orders shut down within 30 days

News today is that Telecel Zimbabwe, the country’s 3rd largest mobile operator has been ordered to shut down by POTRAZ. The operating license of the company has apparently been revoked, following the disagreements they had with the government over the issue of payment of license fees and indigenisation. We have since confirmed from our sources in […]


Reality Check: Myths about the digital broadcasting regulation in Zimbabwe

After the highly informative and enlightening discussions and presentations that I witnessed at the Digital Future Conference I am still in shock at the reality on the ground. The reality being that our “Digital Guru’s” are generally not aware of the legal issues relating to broadcasting in Zimbabwe. It was interesting to note that there […]


About the accuracy and reliability of Zimbabwe’s mobile telecoms stats

In Zimbabwe, there’s been a lot of confusion of the the mobile subscriber statistics released regularly by the mobile operators themselves to shareholders, as well as those released by POTRAZ, the regulator of the space.   Recently for example, when we wrote that Telecel’s active subscribers were down again for the 3rd consecutive quarter, the company […]


POTRAZ will not force MNOs to reduce data tariffs. To let market forces regulate

With internet out-of-bundle prices ranging from US 7 cents (NetOne) to 15 cents (Econet) per megabyte, Zimbabwe’s data tariffs are considered relatively – to the average incomes that is – high. This however, a directive to MNOs issued by POTRAZ last week suggested, is not high enough to warrant POTRAZ’s intervention. POTRAZ will, for now, leave data charges to […]


POTRAZ not enforcing VSAT landing rights fees as it considers review

Speaking on the sidelines of the African Telecommunications Union conference here in Harare yesterday, the POTRAZ acting director general, Alfred Marisa, said that most that internet providers have not been made to pay the new VSAT landing rights fees. POTRAZ, he said, is considering reviewing the regulatory fees yet again as it seems it the new fees have had the unintended effect of […]


In the name of “National Security”: analysis of the new spy law.

In last week’s article, we looked at some of the new provisions of statutory 142 of 2013 which has been called a “spying”  law by some sections of the independent media. The Daily News called it “draconian” while almost everyone agrees it is unconstitutional. So is the law unconstitutional? How does it compare with PRISM […]


Zimbabwe number portability: POTRAZ issues notice to operators (Exclusive)

POTRAZ expects mobile operators to implement number portability in 2014 POTRAZ says it regards number portability as an important regulatory tool to widen subscriber choice and promote service based competition  A source in the industry has told us that POTRAZ just issued a notice to all mobile operators in Zimbabwe informing them that number portability […]


Zimbabwe mobile operators directed to disconnect unregistered SIMs

There’s apparently “an upsurge in the number of offensive and abusive calls and text messages generated from unregistered sim cards” in Zimbabwe, a POTRAZ statement said today citing the reason it was issuing a directive to all mobile operators to disconnect unregistered subscribers with immediate effect. It came a bit as a surprise as all along we thought the issue of unregistered sim cards had been sorted.


It gets ugly as Econet disconnects Telecel Zimbabwe. Our brief thoughts

Earlier today Econet released a statement, its response to the Telecel statement yesterday that basically accused them of throttling traffic. In the statement, which we posted in full here, Econet essentially said they are no under any obligation to have interconnection with Telecel as Telecel are an unlicensed operator. This because Telecel is still to renew its license.


Zambia to host African Internet Summit

Zambia will this year host the African Internet Summit, an annual conference organized by the African Network Information Center (AFRINIC), which is basically Africa’s internet registry. The event will see regulators, operators and other internet connectivity stakeholders on the continent come together for two weeks to discuss promoting access, policy and regulation of the industry. The […]


Government to Telecel: Transfer shareholding to locals first to renew license

The government of Zimbabwe has told Telecel Zimbabwe to sort out its long pending shareholding issues first, before they can be eligible for their mobile network license renewal. The announcement was made along with the announcement of the new license fees that have already been put in place. Telecel’s 15 year license, which they got back in 1998, is now due for renewal.


Zim Government announces revised MNO license fees; it’s $137.5 million

The Zimbabwean government (and by that we mean the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development) has finally announced what looks like the final position on the mobile network operator license fee increase. It’s US $137.5 million and the license is for 20 years. It’s an increase from the previous figure of $100m for 15 years.


Zimbabwe raises telecoms licence fees, migrates to converged licencing

The Herald reports today that the Government of Zimbabwe has raised the operating license fees for mobile network and fixed telephone operators from the current US $100 million to $180 million. The change comes as Econet Wireless and Telecel Zimbabwe prepare to renew their operating licenses in June this year.


Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to establish mobile money regulation

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Gideon Gono, announced yesterday the introduction of a deliberate legal and regulatory framework for Mobile Financial Services. The announcement was made as part of the Monetary Policy Statement presentation.


What should concern you about the ITU’s internet regulation meeting

Governments from all over the world are meeting in Dubai since 3 December to discuss regulating the internet or, in other words, censoring it. The meeting, called World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) is organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which is an arm of the United Nations.


POTRAZ to introduce new pricing model for mobile operators

Zimbabwe’s state owned daily, The Herald, reports today that POTRAZ, the local telecoms regulator will be introducing a new cost-based pricing model for telecommunications operators. Quoting POTRAZ deputy director general, Alfred Marisa, the report says the Long Run Incremental Cost (LRIC) method will be adopted by the regulator. We are in the process of coming […]


POTRAZ Calls ICT Providers To Help Define IAP/ISP Roles

The Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has invited all Internet Access Providers (IAPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to a consultative meeting to be held in Harare next week. The purpose of the meeting: to discuss the role of the IAPs and the ISPs.

POTRAZ has been trying to regularize the operations of ISPs lately. Currently, only IAPs are licensed by POTRAZ. This arrangement has problems. Numerous problems actually.