Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Voice calls coming to WhatsApp. Biggest blow to mobile operators yet #MWC14

So mobile operators are reeling under dumb pipe threat the internet is permanently visiting upon them. Some have cleverly accepted this inevitability and have gone the app bundles route. The Facebook bundles and WhatsApp bundles that is. Those that haven’t will rue their inaction ofcourse. So far, the disruption of the internet to voice and […]

Some WhatsApp alternatives for feature phones & Android

WhatsApp is not the only WhatsApp out there. There are dozen other apps that run on smartphones and others on feature phones that achieve the same end in more or less the same way. So we thought we’d just list a few you can try and see if you like.

Global roundup – this week’s top stories

Nokia releases N9

On 21 June, Nokia released its latest MeeGo-based smartphone, the N9. The N9 is Nokia’s first pure touch smartphone and it runs on Meego 1.2. The phone spots a curved glass 3.9 inch AMOLED display, a 8megapixel camera and comes with storage capacities of 16GB and 64GB.

Skype Comes To Nokia Smartphones

Earlier today, the mobile phone giant, Nokia announced that Skype for it’s Symbian smartphones is now available for free download in its OVI store. Mobile users can now use 3G or Wi-Fi connections to call each other for ‘free’ without needing to route the call through mobile operators.

This is a big game changer for mobile operators. Charging subscribers for call minutes is getting harder and harder to justify and this just another nail in the regular calls’ coffin.

Econet though seems to have seen this coming. It has been heavily investing in reinventing itself into a data career (aka ISP). Just last week, it launched it’s fibre network project and promised to make it available to other service providers in the future. Econet founder, Strive Masiyiwa, sums it up in the YouTube video – “As an operator our basic responsiblity and task, is build a network and to provide coverage and connectivity to as many people as possible. That is the instruction we give to our executives.”

Subscribers Using Econet Data Services To Make Free Calls And SMSes

If you have an Econet line activated for Internet, there might be some ways to save a few extra dollars on calls and SMSes. There are some nifty tools used world over to make “free” calls and SMSes especially where the mobile network operator is kind enough to offer unlimited internet traffic for a flat monthly subscription.

What most subscribers are using for calls at the moment is Fring and Nimbuzz (our favourite). The call is made using the Skype platform so both the caller and recipient need to have Skype accounts. For SMS there’s mjoy, a mobile web application to send texts for free to almost anywhere in the world.