Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Double Standards: Why Facebook should be locked out of China

For those who don’t know it yet, China is now the second hottest hub for startups and internet based enterprises in the world ( after Silicon Valley). Investors and entrepreneurs everywhere you think of are cracking their heads to figure out a way to be a part of the world’s biggest market by internet users and most other metrics.

ICT Development Index: Zimbabwe moves four places up

Yesterday, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released latest the global ICT pricing and penetration data report. You can find the report here. A key feature of the report is the ICT Development Index (IDI), which ranks 152 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills, and compares 2008 and 2010 scores.

Zimbabwe’s ‘breakout’ search terms on Google this month

This month, four breakout searches registered on Google and all four are for the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru. Here’s a screenshot of part of the Google insights for Search for the month:

About ICT systems security and the recent ZSE website hacking

In the past few years we have seen major developments in the availability and growth of high speed internet services in Zimbabwe. Such developments are a characteristic of the modern information and global economic age. At the same time such developments have led to the massive development and production of all kinds of software (Web Apps, Mobile Apps, etc.) to support and enable the organisations to carry out business over the internet.

TTCS Zim launches TTCS Kenya in partnership with SevenSeas Technologies

A press release by Kenyan SevenSeas Technologies (SST) has announced a new joint venture between the company and Zimbabwe’s Twenty Third Century Systems (TTCS). The joint venture between the two companies will see the founding of a SAP business solutions firm called Twenty Third Century Systems Kenya (TTCSK)

Zimbabwe in top 10 African ICT hubs of the future list

According to a survey conducted by African Business Panel and echoing the sentiments of 800 business professionals across Africa, Zimbabwe is expected to be among the continent’s top 10 ICT hubs out of a total 53 states in the next five years. The report was released in Amsterdam last month and pinpoints South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya at the top of the rankings. South Africa has traditionally been a gateway to Africa for most international ICT firms and has of late been losing its glow to Kenya which among other things is Africa’s first nation to have an open data policy.

Zimride: The Silicon Valley Start-up inspired by Zimbabwe

In 2005 Zimbabwe was halfway through it’s nearly decade long economic crunch. Hyper inflation was well on its way to breaking records in an experience few would want to relive. If the timely adage that necessity is the mother of all invention holds true, then the following story is a perfect indicator of the ‘greatness’ that can be found in or through Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry revenue to grow to US1.34 billion by 2016

According to a market research report released today by global research firm, Frost & Sullivan, Zimbabwe’s mobile communications revenue will reach US $ 1.3 billion by 2016, with 20.1% compound annual growth rate.

The report comes after Econet, Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms firm, released its year end financials showing solid growth and annual revenue of half a billion US dollars. Econet’s revenue in the previous period was US$362.8 million. Econet commands about 70% of Zimbabwe’s mobile telephony market.

Twitter not Zimbabwe’s favourite social media network

There’s one thing that’s easy to see about Twitter and Zimbabweans; Zimbabweans just don’t tweet. I’m not talking about Zimbabweans in the Diaspora here. Adoption of these web communication tools for Zimbabweans outside the country seems just as hasty as the Americans, Britons and South Africans. I’m talking about Zimbabweans living in Zimbabwe.

Econet websites unavailable unless you’re using an Econet connection

We use Mweb (now iWayAfrica) for our primary internet connection at the office. I have 3 mobile broadband dongles from Africom, Telecel and Econet, which I use in order of the most affordable and usable at any given time. Now the problem with Econet sites is that, unless I’m using the Econet dongle, I cannot open them.

Valley Technologies, a possible game changer for Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry

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.

Zimbabwe remains in bottom ten of ICT Network Readiness Index

The just released (World Economic Forum) Global Information Technology Report for 2010–2011 ranks Zimbabwe 132 out of 138 countries in the Network Readiness Index (NRI). This is Zimbabwe’s third time in a row at this position.

Heroes of Zimbabwe’s local internet content: Zim Bloggers

Zimbabweans have started many blogs on the internet. Some are hosted on Blogspot, some on WordPress, and some on independent blogs. The blogger keep the Internet relevant for Zimbabweans. We decided we’d just list some of the great blogs here.

Zimbabweans and Mozambicans Googling Libya

Zimbabweans and Mozambicans, according to Google Insights for Search, are searching for the term “Libya” a lot more than other search terms on Google.

Google Insights for Search is a tool to analyse the search trends on Google domains world over. The tool computes the number of searches done for given search terms relative to the total number of searches done on the popular search engine over time.

Hey Google, Rhodesia doesn’t exist anymore. The country is called Zimbabwe

Today, we woke up to an opinion piece in a local daily newspaper that made us stop. It’s titled “Google is bidding return of Rhodesia”. And no, it’s not just link bait, read the article and visit Google news right now to see that Google seems to think Harare is in Rhodesia and obviously that Rhodesia as a country still exists.

Short guide to Zimbabwe’s mobile and Internet connectivity

Some weeks ago, a fellow blogger sent us a blog post suggestion in the form of a list of questions about Zimbabwe’s mobile and internet connectivity.Here is the list of questions and answers. Your Zim connectivity FAQ. We added a few of our own. While this is targeted at Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, it includes some info that local Zimbabweans might find useful.

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.

Zimbabwe’s Google Top Searches of 2010

Today, Google posted this year’s Zeitgeist, an interactive visual tool showing what the world searched on Google in 2010. Google’s version of the world’s list of 2010’s most trending topics. We should be getting a Twitter one and possibly a Facebook one as well before the year closes.

The Zimbabwe 2011 National ICT Budget Statement

We share below the IT excerpt of Zimbabwe’s 2011 National Budget Statement presented on 25 November 2010 by Zim Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

Nominations Underway For Zimbabwe ICT Achievers Awards

Back in February this year, when the Zim Minister of ICT launched the country’s ICT strategic plan, he promised Zimbabwe would have an annual ICT Achievers Award program to honor Zim’s ICT achievers. Well, this promise is being delivered right now.

Survey Names Econet the Most Admired Employer in Zimbabwe

In a survey conducted by human resources consultancy firm, Industrial Psychology Consultants (IPC), Econet Wireless has emerged the most admired employer in Zimbabwe. Telecel and NetOne also made it into the top 10 at positions 8 and 9 respectively.

An Overview Of Zimbabwe’s Telecommunications – POTRAZ Presentation Download

We got this presentation here from a function we attended last week. The presentation was made by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) and generally covers the current state of telecoms industry in Zimbabwe. Coming from them, we’re sure it’s pretty accurate.

Zimbabwe Online Starts Offering VSAT Internet Services

Starting this month, Zimbabwe’s leading Internet Service Provider, Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) will be offering VSAT Internet services. VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) is an Internet solution capable of delivering high speed Internet to any location through satellite connectivity effectively, allowing very remote areas without telecommunication infrastructure to connect seamlessly to the internet.

Getting your own ZOL VSAT installed will cost US $1,800 (setup fees) and a minimum monthly subscription of US $180.

2009 Global ICT Facts

This month, the International Telecommunications Union released the “World in 2009, ICT Facts and Figures” report available in pdf here. Below is a summary some of the most interesting facts.

Zimbabwe 6th in Global Narrowband Connecitivity Assessment

And no, I’m not making fun of my beloved country, the word “Narrowband” does exist and Zim is very close to the top. If you’re in Zimbabwe and you’re viewing this blog on a +256 Kbps connection, you’re amoung a priviledged 4% of Zim internet users! In a “State of the Internet” report released by […]