It’s not well at Brodacom. Not at all. Around this time two years ago, information in the market suggested the company was coming on the scene to change the game in Zimbabwe’s internet sector. It didn’t happen.
Yesterday, we attended a Brodacom event where the company announced some new services they will be offering. One new product presented, a gadget Brodacom calls a ‘talking modem’, is primarily a wireless internet modem, which really looks like a phone and that indeed can do voice calls. The ‘talking modem’ is the basis of a more exciting announcement from the company; Brodacom now offers unlimited calls within the network for US $15 a month.
If you’re in Zimbabwe and checked the newspapers yesterday, you probably saw the Brodacom advert above. The advert claims that before Brodacom came along, setting up fixed broadband in Zimbabwe used to cost US $3,500 and that thanks to Brodacom, that figure has been brought down to US $99.50, the price of Brodacom’s Wi-Fi device for small businesses and individuals.
About two weeks ago, we received three mobile broadband (and one of them primarily a voice device as well) from the Spiritage Group company called Brodacom. We got the opportunity to test the three devices over about 6 days, which gave us a more or less clear picture of the performance. We tested the devices in the Harare city center, Alexandra Park in Harare (at the office), a Harare residential suburb called Tynwald North, the Bulawayo city center, and a residential suburb in Bulawayo called Morningside.
Speaking at a Computer Society of Zimbabwe function yesterday, Spiritage Communications Managing Director Mr. Kangai Maukazuva disclosed the company has deployed a 3.9G network. Maukazuva was presenting the topic “Communication technologies for the future” to a huge group of information technology professionals. The presentation centered on the evolution in telecommunications to next generation networks (NGNs).
The Computer Society of Zimbabwe function this month (there’s one every month) is a presentation titled “Communication Technologies for the Future!” We just received the flyer from the society and we’re going to be there to listen in and interact with the techies and business people that come to these functions. But more importantly, we’re going to be there because of the opportunity to listen and speak to the presenters at the function, the Spiritage Communications executives.
Going to the Spiritage offices physically is what we had to do to get the tariffs for below. The tariffs are basically the same as what was published by Valley Technologies back in April.
Last week, Spiritage (well, their Brodacom subsidiary) posed the question: What would you expect from a true4G network? This is a bold question to ask. Indeed it’s a bold statement in itself; it authoritatively declares that Brodacom is here to offer genuine 4G. It’s bold in that, even in developed economies, large telcos claiming to offer 4G services are being asked to back their 4G claims with some real facts or cease the advertising. Just next door in South Africa, Cell C was forced to pull its 4Gs advertising after MTN and Vodacom lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa accusing Cell C of misleading the consumers.
Yesterday, when we posted an article about Spiritage’s new voice telephony and Internet company, Brodacom, we echoed the message from Brodacom’s adverts that you could reserve your number on the site www.reserveyournumber.co.zw which, Brodacom had promised, would be available at 1400hrs yesterday. It didn’t happen. And by the time we left the office yesterday, the number reservation system still wasn’t available.
Valley Technologies, one of Zimbabwe’s 15 licensed IAPs, has started an ad campaign to launch its 4G internet services. A local teaser ad titled “What would you expect from a TRUE 4G NETWORK” appeared in today’s papers. The ad’s call to action is for consumers to define what 4G means to them. It invites readers […]
Today, we spent the better part of the morning at the Spiritage network operation center in Harare. We were invited along with a dozen other writers from the various media houses in Zimbabwe to a “pre-launch media briefing” of the business group.
First, let me say of all the Zim internet access providers (IAPs) we’ve talked to in recent months, today was the first time we felt we were at a company that’s set to take on the big incumbents head-on and possibly redefine Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry going forward.
Last week we ran an article titled “Africom and Valley Technologies to launch mobile phone networks”. In it we said that the two Internet Access Providers will be launching networks in the coming months and that they are currently conducting tests and finalizing interconnection with other telecoms providers.
News tips we’re getting are all suggesting strongly that Internet Access Providers (IAPs), Africom and Valley Technologies will be launching mobile phone networks soon. “Soon” here could ofcourse mean anything from a couple of weeks (at best) to a few months. We’re guessing, from what we know so far, the most would be 2 months.
We’ve been trying to get information about the company called Spiritage for some weeks now. What caught our attention (and that of many of you asking us about Spiritage) were the Spiritage ICT job vacancies in the press. The company is clearly on a massive recruitment drive. Fortunately, a few days ago, some information started trickling in.