Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



Nyaradzo logo

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 […]

Here’s a comparison of Zimbabwean internet packages

With a lot of people seeking a full comparison of what their money can get them we created a page that offers a comparison of Zimbabwean internet services. The options are listed according to the service provider as well as the type of internet (3G, ADSL, Fibre, VSAT, WiMAX).

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.

Is internet in Zimbabwe really that much cheaper?

Many would like to believe that internet is now cheaper in Zimbabwe but other than the promotional packages i feel that we are still a bit high. Mobile data which would provide the most convenient delivery of internet is ridiculously expensive.

TelOne adjusts ADSL prices, introduces $15 package

Things aren’t getting better economically. If you still don’t believe that, just look at the way service providers are falling over themselves to get you “cheaper and better deals” just to mop up what little dollars you have to spare. The same thing is happening in Internet services. One recent product and price adjustment has come […]

ZOL reduces the price of its WiMax package

Here’s a bit of good news for people who have been using ZOL Zimbabwe’s entry level WiMAX service; ZOL has lowered the price from $59 to $49 starting with subscriptions for the month of May 2015. No other adjustments have been made to the rest of the ZOL product lineup and the package wasn’t tweaked […]

Dandemutande in 3rd year of losses. Hopeful of breakeven in 2014

Masawara PLC, investors in Dandemutande, announced its 2013 financials today revealing that Dandemutande made a third consecutive annual loss in the year. Dandemutande made an EBITDA loss $2.1 million. The loss has however decreased year on year by about 41%, from the $3.6 million incurred in 2012. According to the report Dandemutande is also registering strong growth in business evidenced by 46% growth […]

Review: ZOL Mobile WiMAX Internet

Editor’s note: This review contribution on the new ZOL mobile WiMAX offering was provided through by Chenjerai Katanda, founder of Schools Sports Network, a website that covers Zimbabwean Schools Sports. Sometime in November of last year I caught wind of the news that ZOL was now offering Mobile WiMAX Dongles. Due to the nature of […]

uMAX incurs $4.9 million loss. Shareholders express low confidence

The 2012 annual report sent out to Masawara shareholders over the weekend revealed that Dandemutande, an internet provider they have shareholding in, incurred losses amounting to US $4.9 million during the year ended 31 December 2012. Masawara’s share of the loss was US $3.4 million. The losses are attributed mainly to the retail and consumer internet division, which is called uMAX.

As other ISPs drop internet prices, YoAfrica is strangely doing the opposite

So yesterday we were very excited at the internet pricing sanity settling into the market. Broadband prices are dropping by as much as 80% and it’s not just uMAX, it’s basically been the trend over the past couple of months. Not so with YoAfrica.

Everything is changing again! uMAX becomes Zim’s lowest priced broadband

Not anymore. uMAX has slashed prices so much they’re now as mass market as your mobile operators. The company announced today the introduction of a monthly 20GB data bundle for just $75 which comes with the uMAX setup equipment free.

Econet launches 3G mobile Wi-Fi device, competes with fixed broadband providers

Last week, Econet introduced a mobile Wi-Fi (MiFi if you want) device aimed directly at “small group” broadband users. That will be your home and small business users. In many ways therefore this product competes directly with the fixed broadband providers, especially as this comes after a broadband tariff slash 3 weeks ago by the operator. Well, competes except this is also a portable dongle of sorts.

As Kingdom Bank acquires its assets we ask; what went wrong at Spiritage?

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.

Utande revises internet tariffs downwards, introduces 1GB bundle

Utande, a local internet service provider, has revised its WiMAX broadband service tariffs downwards. Effective today, 1 November, the price of its 2GB data bundle has been reduced by 14% to $60. The old price of the 2G bundle was $70. The reduction comes a little under 5 months after launch of the service. Utande […]

A user’s review of the uMAX service

This review is written by someone who has used virtually every ISP in Zimbabwe since the year 2000 and has the battle scars to boot. This is not so much a technical review of the product but a user’s review of how the product delivers. This is deliberately so because at the end when all […]

Econet Mobile WiMax reappears with new pricing. Declares war on competition

Recently, Econet announced via print press adverts a slash of the 4G Mobile WiMax service prices and a return of the Mobile WiMax dongle that hasn’t been on the shelve since a while ago. The slash is quite significant and outright makes redundant the need for a 3G dongle. For US$45 dollars you can purchase a […]

An early review of the Utande uMAX service

On Tuesday (20 June 2012) I had the pleasure of an 8 O’Clock press conference with some pretty bland exec types and a Pretty cool talking animated giraffe named Max. Utande was launching their “SME and Home” Wimax service, with all the hoopla and promises we have heard from all the other ISPs when they […]

Utande launches new WIMAX broadband service

This morning Utande Internet Services (Pvt) limited, a subsidiary company of Dandemutande Investments a company in Zimbabwe’s telecommunications industry launched its broadband WIMAX service under the uMAX brand. The Financial Express notes that uMax is currently available in Harare at a 95 percent coverage rate joins other broadband internet providers-who include Africom, Econet, and Spiritage’s […]

Aquiva Wireless and Aptics face major problems with WiMAX

An update sent out by one of Zimbabwe’s largest internet service providers, ZOL, confirms (what the industry has been saying for about a month now) that Aquiva Wireless and Aptics are having major issues delivering internet via the WiMAX platform. The ZOL update was sent out some 6 days ago and read in part:

Aptics enters market with promise of affordable broadband and VoIP

About 2 weeks ago a new Internet Access Provider called Aptics started advertising VoIP telephony and ‘4G’ services in the local newspapers. We have tried the Aptics broadband internet before for our primary connection at the office, but then, the company was still providing services primarily through ISPs ZOL and Yo Africa. The company is now going to market directly in addition to the partnerships. We visited them a few days ago to get the full story on what the company is offering and what you the reader should expect and indeed if you should be excited.

Aquiva Wireless latest coverage map: Harare, Byo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Mutare

The last time we wrote about Aquiva was back in February this year when, in an interview with the founders, the company revealed that they were rolling out WiMax base stations in Harare and Bulawayo and that they would be providing voice services as well.
Well, since then, according to the company’s latest coverage map it has spread its WiMax network to Mutare, Kwekwe and Gweru. See below. Aquiva Wireless is one of the 12 POTRAZ licensed Internet Access Providers in Zimbabwe.

Dear Brodacom, please stop with these false claims already

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.

Utande joins the 4G race. Alepo & Dimension Data working on the platform

Alepo, A US based company providing enabling infrastructure for telecommunications service providers, announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Dimension Data to roll out 4G services across Zimbabwe for Utande, a local ISP.

Pictures: Africom’s new services, CDMA mobile phones and other gadgets

Last week, we got an opportunity to visit the Africom head office in Harare. Africom staff showed us some of the gadgets that the telecoms operator is promoting as part of the roll out of the new voice and data services. The gadgets are available for sale at the Africom shops and the company says it is working to establish reseller partnership with independent retailers in the country. We took a few photos of the gadgets. Here are the pictures:

ICT incumbents, the times they are a-changin’

I’ve met more than enough Zimbabweans (geeks and ordinary humans alike) who feel that the local ICT sector is not up to scratch. When asked to specify what being “up to scratch” is, most immediately and rather animatedly set off an explosive cache of various beliefs, facts and figures. However correct some of the well informed opinion holders may be, there are a few cold facts that have rendered their sentiments to the confines of wishful thinking. They are as follows:

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.

VoIP: The future of voice communication in Zimbabwe

IP Telephony has been around since as early as 1973 and has over the past decade been enhanced to attain telephone (PSTN) voice quality. Today VoIP services are offered internationally by traditional telecom operators (e.g. BT in the UK) and dedicated IP phone networks like Skype.

Econet Launches Mobile Broadband Services

We’re just from the launch of Zimbabwe’s first nationwide broadband service by Econet at an elegant dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Harare this evening. The launch was attended was attended by cabinet ministers, ambassadors and POTRAZ officials.

The Ecoweb 4G Mobile WiMax Coverage Map

Since we posted that Ecoweb started selling 4G mobile WiMax last week, we’ve been trying to get some solid information on the network coverage of the new technology. We requested a coverage map but the response we got what was something to the effect of “tell us a location and we’ll tell you if it’s covered or not”. A polite way of saying “No”.

When Solar Meets Wireless – A Rural Telecommunications Solution – Part 2

Solar Powered Wireless Access

This is a viable avenue of implementing rural telephony in a bid to redress the knowledge and information gap between the urban and rural populations, amongst other things.

There’s no need to explain and expand the clear relationship that exists between information technology and development of a country. Access to information and communication on the fly, bridges the digital divide that generally engulfs the bulk of African countries. This is usually measured as teledensity: the number of connected phone users per 100 people.