Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Director General Of POTRAZ Says WiMax, CDMA & VSAT Are Dying Technologies

Yesterday we wrote an article on the decline of fibre subscriptions which was particularly shocking because it was the first time this had happened since POTRAZ started publishing quarterly reports back in 2014. Active Fibre Subscriptions weren’t the only telecoms technologies on the decline as WiMax, CDMA and VSAT subscriptions also declined: POTRAZ Director-General Dr […]

Check Out What ZODSAT, A Local VSAT Internet Service Provider Is Offering

Beyond ZOL, Telone and perhaps Powertel as VSAT internet service providers (ISP), not many people are familiar with or aware of ZODSAT’s existence. Actually, many people are also not familiar with VSAT connectivity frankly speaking. This is perhaps due to the fact that VSAT is mostly used in underserved areas since urban areas have enough […]

Econet, Liquid Telecom And ZOL Shortlisted For AfricaCom Awards 2017

AfricaCom 2017, Africa’s largest technology, telecoms and media event, is right around the corner and with it, it brings an awards ceremony that will be part of the 3-day event. AfricaCom Awards aim to celebrate the achievements of the best companies, solutions, products and personalities improving connectivity and driving Africa. For the AfricaCom Awards 2017, 3 […]

Dandemutande expands VSAT lineup, launches mobile satellite solution

Despite a strong focus on VSAT solutions in the past through its subsidiary iWay Africa, this is the first time that Dandemutande has provided a mobile satellite solution, something that points to an increased focus on the revenue potential of a diversified VSAT services portfolio.

The cost of internet in Zimbabwe – an overview of broadband packages

However, we are still not at a point where data service costs become an afterthought. Local internet prices are still steep, particularly for the majority of Zimbabweans who use mobile devices to go online. The absence of regulatory intervention hasn’t helped either. All the changes we’ve noticed so far are a reuslt of macro-economic forces in a tough economy.

A week in rural Zimbabwe

The elders proudly explained how their young sons and daughters had not abandoned them. During each holiday the “children” come to visit and they come bearing gifts of smartphones and solar panels. They spend days tutoring their parents and grandparents on how to use technologies like WhatsApp and Facebook so that when they go back to town they can keep in touch.

Facebook to provide internet in Africa via satellite

Facebook announced yesterday that it will deliver satellite broadband internet to Africans via satellite starting next year. This will be made possible through a partnership with a European satellite operator called Eutelsat as part of the initiative.

TelOne runs free off-peak browsing promo for VSAT clients

TelOne just introduced a zero-rated off-peak browsing option for all paid up Ka Band clients. Set to run for the month of September, it offers free off-peak browsing from 10 pm to 4 am.

Cheaper VSAT in Zim, YoStore, energy alternatives & Econet vs POTRAZ – Podcast

In this episode of the Techzim podcast, we discuss Econet and Liquid Telecom’s reaction to POTRAZ’s Infrastructure Sharing strategy, the iWayAfrica VSAT products that just got so much cheaper and the online retailing platform YoStore from the ISP, YoAfrica.

iWayAfrica embraces POTRAZ fees adjustment, slashes VSAT prices

Following on the heels of the VSAT fees adjustment administered by the regulator, POTRAZ, iWayAfrica, a local internet service provider has drastically reduced the cost of its VSAT packages.

Here’s why VSAT is still relevant in Zimbabwe

It’s easy to consider VSAT as an outdated phenomenon that nobody really talks about anymore. With Internet Providers complaining about the cost of VSAT landing fees and the gazetting of new fees reducing them to token figures, one must realise that indeed VSAT is still a technology to consider.

POTRAZ slashes VSAT landing rights fees

Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has scrapped the annual fees for VSAT landing rights from $1,500 to a low $20 for C and Ku Band and $30 for Ka Band.

Internet Access Providers ask POTRAZ to review VSAT landing rights fees

Internet Access Providers this week asked the regulator of the telecoms sector in Zimbabwe, POTRAZ, to zero rate the VSAT landing rights fees in view of the modern possibilities of landing VSAT very cheaper using technologies like KA Band. The current $1,500 annual fees levied by the regulator is making internet access needlessly expensive in remote areas that technology like fibre […]

iWayAfrica’s expensive VSAT vs TelOne’s. Selective application of licensing rules?

So about two months ago we asked an official from the Postal and Telecoms Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) about what was apparently the selective application of VSAT licensing regulations. TelOne, a government owned fixed line operator, introduced cheap VSAT in May this year, but it later turned out it was cheap because, unlike the competition, they are […]

Sat Space Africa now providing Ka-Band solution for Zimbabwe

  Sat Space Africa, a regional VSAT and internet services provider is now providing a Ka-band VSAT Internet solution in Zimbabwe. This solution is provided using HYLAS 2 Ka-band satellite to provide high-speed broadband connectivity. According to the official communication from Sat-Space this product is geared at providing a solution to small and medium sized […]

Liquid Telecom increasing VSAT capacity

With all the fibre trenching Liquid Telecom does in Africa, it’s easy to assume the company’s products are all around fibre. You couldn’t be further from reality. Even though the city and highway trenching is what is easy to see, Liquid is still very active on the satellite front. For obvious reasons really; fibre is nowhere near reaching every corner of the […]

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 […]

Connectivity in Remote areas Closing the Digital divide where fibre fears to tread

Joseph Machiva, the Sales and Marketing Director at TelOne presented on connectivity where the regular fibre, UHF, WiMax and ADSL have nt reached. Remote places like schools, farms, mines, resort areas, retails shops and other kinds of companies in rural areas. Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge Number to recharge: Airtime amount ($): EcoCash or OneMoney number: Buy […]

TelOne launches cheaper Ka-band VSAT option for outlying areas

We’ve just learned that TelOne has launched a cheaper VSAT option that uses the Ka-Band satellite technology. This new service will be sold under a new TelOne VSAT brand effectively doing away with SatNet brand which we’re told has been decommissioned. The new Ka-band will see equipment and setup prices come down from about $8,000 (yes C-band apparently is […]

More innovation is needed for VSAT to thrive in Zimbabwe

For the past number of years we have been writing about the fall in broadband prices. Most, if not all, of these decreases are precipitated by two things: a fall in equipment and a fall in upstream bandwidth prices. Despite these commendable developments one area has been lagging behind: VSAT internet. VSAT is still prohibitively expensive.

New VSAT provider Stargaze, targets rural communities with low prices

As Zimbabwe’s internet industry gets increasingly competitive, a new VSAT internet service provider, Stargaze, has launched services in the country. In his communication to us, Stargaze Managing Director Chris Catto, said they are looking at rural communities as a key growth area for their company.

Liquid expands footprint with East African assets acquisition

Econet Wireless owned fibre and satellite operator, Liquid Telecom, announced yesterday the acquisition of East African telecom assets from JSE listed Altech Group in a deal that will, according to the company, make it the largest terrestrial fibre operator on the continent. Altech will get an 8.6% stake in Liquid Telecom and 10% shareholder voting rights. In addition to the assets, Altech will however also subscribe a further US $16.5 million for the stake.

What to consider when buying a VSAT based internet service in Zimbabwe

Before fiber came to prominence in Zimbabwe this year, VSAT was how all the bandwidth in Zimbabwe was landed by Internet Access Providers’s . This was done with much larger scale equipment than I mentioned above, think the mazoe earth station if you have seen it. Satellite bandwidth is much more expensive than fiber bandwidth, because of the costs associated with launching and maintaining a satellite in space. The change from satellite bandwidth to fibre is the main reason we have seen Internet connectivity prices come down significantly.

Gigatel launches new VSAT hub in Zimbabwe

Gigatel, the company we wrote about in September last year when it launched VoIP services, has launched a new V-SAT hub in Zimbabwe. The new hub is a Shiron product and operates on C-Band frequencies. It was supplied and engineered by Gilat Satcom, a global satellite communications provider. The announcement was made through a press release on the Gilat website.

Aquiva Wireless now offering WiMax, Fibre and VSAT connectivity, to launch VoIP

We were at Aquiva Wireless in Harare the other day, talking to the founding team about developments at the Internet Access Provider. There are some interesting developments alright; it’s Mobile WiMax offerings, fibre, VSAT and some VoIP services to launch in a few months.

Full Text of ZOL Press Statement on “Potraz accused of inaction”

Below is the full text of ZOL’s press statement we got hold of earlier today. The statement is in response to the article published in the Sunday Mail of 10 October 2010, titled “POTRAZ Accused of inaction” The statement will likely be in the press tomorrow or Friday. We posted an article about this issue early today.

Africom Launches VSAT Teleport Hub

One of the biggest Internet service providers in Zimbabwe, Africom, launched a VSAT teleport hub in Harare this morning. The teleport, pictured on the left, was installed with the help of SkyVision Global Networks, a global provider of IP connectivity over satellite systems.

Ecoweb To Launch VSAT And Mobile Wimax

Two weeks ago we posted that Ecoweb was going to start offering VSAT services. Ecoweb has since made it public that they will be launching their VSAT operations soon. This is welcome news to many organizations such as mining companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and tourism companies with operations in Zimbabwe’s most remote areas where fixed […]

Ecoweb To Start Offering VSAT Services

I’m told in less than 24 hours Ecoweb will announce their new VSAT satellite Internet services. No Information yet on pricing but that shouldn’t be hard to get once they go public with it. VSAT implementation in Zimbabwe has been contentious issue with the regulator POTRAZ, who at one point went (or threatened to) around […]