Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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ShowMax partners SEACOM for faster content delivery & less buffering, readies East Africa rollout

The result is that ShowMax subscribers who want to access any of its movies, series and shows will have faster access to the content and it will be delivered with reduced buffering.

Liquid Telecom acquires South African fixed telecoms provider Neotel

African telecoms carrier and Econet Wireless Group subsidiary Liquid Telecom has acquired a controlling stake in Neotel, the South African fixed telecoms operator. This comes after Tata Communications, the majority shareholder of Neotel (it holds 68,5%) entered into an agreement to dispose of its stake for 6.55 billion Rand (US $431,549 million). According to reports, […]

Econet Wireless explores fixed telecoms in SA, linked to Neotel takeover

The Econet Wireless Group has been named as one of the suitors in the takeover of Neotel, the South African fixed line telecoms operator which competes with the State-owned Telkom.

What is local content?

So after the noise with the store and the ensuing usual talk about local content one question has been tickling the nether regions of my brain. Just what the heck is local content?

The $32 million fibre project from Powertel: A sign of better service and tariffs to come?

No, It’s not rebranding again but ZESA Holdings’ IAP Powertel was in the Herald today for “getting a fibre connectivity via Botswana”. Not that this should be taken as anything new really, considering the fibre backbone that runs though Botswana has been around for years and at one point carried most of Zimbabwe’s traffic. Who can forget […]

Cloud Computing in Africa #ZimBroadband presentation

Below is the presentation made by SEACOM Senior Account Manager, Tonderai Sibanda, at the Broadband Forum 2014 conference in Harare. Titled “Cloud Computing in Africa: separating myth from reality.” his talk centered on the actual possibilities and limitations of cloud computing on the continent. Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge Number to recharge: Airtime amount ($): […]

Broadband Forum 2014 – Video Highlights from the morning session

The 2014 Broadband Forum is in full swing and the morning session was filled with the a lot of thought and idea exchange. A wealth of knowledge was shared on IT and broadband regulation, broadband infrastructure and the opportunities available for local stakeholders. We have video highlights from the presentations made. Quick NetOne, Econet, And […]

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

SA town, Stellenbosch, to get Wi-Fi cloud

Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, is set to get a Wi-Fi cloud over it offered in the next six months. According to a report in South African tech news site MyBroadband, The Wi-Fi will be available free of charge to anyone, and users of the service will not be required to register.

New CEO at Seacom as Brian Herlihy steps down

Seacom, African submarine fibre cable system operator, announced that Brian Herlihy is stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by Mark Simpson. Mark Simpson takes over the reins next week on 5 Septmber 2011.

SEACOM invests US14.7 million in terrestrial fibre in SA

Yesterday, the undersea fibre cable system operator, SEACOM, announced it has invested some US$14.7 million in terrestrial fibre infrastructure in South Africa. The investment is mainly in equipment and fibre links connecting SEACOM’s landing station in Kwazulu Natal and some Point of Presence in Gauteng. The fibre links have been purchased from Dark Fibre Africa, a South African dark fibre provider owning a network of carrier neutral, dark fibre infrastructure for the transmission of metro and long haul telecommunications traffic.

PowerTel to launch mobile voice services, web hosting

PowerTel Communications, the state owned subsidiary of national power company, ZESA, is set to launch mobile voice services on its network. PowerTel sales and marketing manager, Willard Nyagwande made the announcement at a function in Harare yesterday.

Brian Herlihy: SEACOM to provide IP services to Business Service Providers in Zim, Malawi

Techzim this week reached out to SEACOM chief executive, Brian Herlihy, on the recent announcement of the agreement with TDM for a direct link into landlocked countries, Zimbabwe and Malawi. In our communication with the SEACOM front man, he explained how SEACOM plans to provide more than just a basic international fibre network in these countries.

Dandemutande speaks

After last week’s announcement of Utande’s connection to the SEACOM undersea cable along Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique, we visited the company for more information. Prior to this, efforts to get even the slightest of a whisper from Utande were mostly unsuccessful, apparently due to acquisition negotiations with now majority shareholder, Masawara plc. We were thus glad to meet Colin Franco, the company’s chief technical officer, and Russell Clinton the Utande CEO, for a discussion and tour of the Utande data centre.

SEACOM: Mozambique agrees to Zim connection

Zimbabwe is poised to benefit from a deal announced yesterday between SEACOM and Telecomunicacoes de Mocambique (TDM), Mozambique’s telecoms parastatal. The company has been granted the go ahead to connect our landlocked country to the undersea cable. This is expected to have a positive impact on corporate and individual consumers in the not too distant future.

The Econet backbone optic fibre map

We saw the map below in Econet’s financial results briefings for 2011 and thought to post it here. It shows the progress of the fibre backbone project that the largest mobile operators is working. As you can see, the section running from Harare through Bulawayo to Beitbridge is now fully operational. It also shows the fibre rings in Harare and Bulawayo have been completed.

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.

Seacom: Our cable has had some challenges since inception

Seacom this week admitted that its submarine fibre cable that landed on the east Africa coast in July 2009, “has had challenges since inception”. The statement was made by Seacom’s head of business development, Aidan Baigriecable.

The admission comes as Seacom considers buying backup undersea fibre capacity from other submarine fibre cable operators.

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.

Econet to switch on fibre as early as next week

On Tuesday this week, Econet announced that it has connected the Seacom optic fibre cable and is ready to switch on once the green light is given by the regulators. Well, we have more news on that today.

Econet connects to SEACOM undersea fibre cable

Econet just announced some 3 milestones today. The first and most significant is that Econet has established a direct connection to the SEACOM undersea optic fibre cable in Durban and is ready to connect customers once given the green light by the regulatory authorities.