Tuesday, August 21Always On-point

Telecomms

Netone’s Currently Suspended CEO Court Application Dismissed As Not Urgent By High Court, A Somewhat Blow For Him

Netone’s Currently Suspended CEO Court Application Dismissed As Not Urgent By High Court, A Somewhat Blow For Him

Telecomms
Two weeks ago Netone’s currently suspended CEO, Lazarus Muchenje filed an urgent chamber application seeking to revoke the decision by Netone’s Board of unilaterally renewing contracts of nine executives. But the Registrar of the High Court has declared the court application as not urgent. What does it mean? When an applicant files urgent chamber application they instruct an advocate/attorney to lodge an urgent application in court. A court officer will review an applicant’s file as quickly as possible after filing and will ask a judge to decide whether a situation will be treated as an emergency. If an applicant’s situation is treated as an emergency by the court, this means that they may get a court date more quickly than in other normal, (or ‘non-emergency’) situations, wh
Masiyiwa inks Cape to Cairo fibre network deal

Masiyiwa inks Cape to Cairo fibre network deal

Telecomms
CAIRO — Telecom Egypt has signed a memorandum of understanding with Liquid Telecom to enable the pan-African group to complete Africa’s terrestrial fibre network stretching across the African continent, the companies said on Saturday. Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Wireless Global, has been building a fibre network across southern Africa covering Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also has a presence in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. “Liquid Telecom will link its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross-border interconnection – bringing together a 60 000 km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central and Eastern African countries, and has now reached the borde
Mobile Penetration Rate Drops By Almost A Fifth: No Need To Panic

Mobile Penetration Rate Drops By Almost A Fifth: No Need To Panic

Telecomms
Going through the POTRAZ telecoms sector report for the first quarter of 2018 was quite interesting. One can’t help but think we are on a downward trajectory when they notice that mobile penetration has fallen by an alarming 16.8%. Even though that’s almost a fifth, this drop isn’t as big a deal in the “how many Zimbabweans have phones?“, debate. At the end of 2017 the mobile penetration rate was at 102.7% and after the first three months of this year, that number now lies at 84.6%. Though this number is concerning I think it’s also a reflection of other events in the telecommunications industry and overall it should not be a cause for sleepless nights for the regulator or anyone observing the industry. Initially, before I discovered that mobile penetration rate is not necessarily re
Netone Sues Afrosoft For Using Their SMS Platform Without Permission

Netone Sues Afrosoft For Using Their SMS Platform Without Permission

News, Telecomms, What's Hot
Netone is at loggerheads with AfroSoft Corporation (AfoSoft), prompting the state-owned Mobile Network Operator to sue Afrosoft demanding a staggering $11 million. Afrosoft Holdings is a Zimbabwean software development and IT solutions firm. Here is their tale Nine years ago (2009) Netone signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Afrosoft to develop products for their mutual benefit. However, Afrosoft supposedly took advantage of the MOU and arbitrarily started to offer SMS services to Netone’s customer with “no agreement on this provision”. Afrosoft is alleged to have sent 203 775 129 between June 1, 2015, and January 31, 2018. And these SMSes are being valued at $0.055 each inclusive of value-added tax. Doing the math there and multiplying 203775129 by $0.055 brings the value of the
NetOne Announces New Tarrifs For Out Of Bundle Browsing And USSD Sessions

NetOne Announces New Tarrifs For Out Of Bundle Browsing And USSD Sessions

Telecomms
POTRAZ announced some reductions to the thresholds for Out Of Bundle browsing and USSD per session costs a few weeks ago. Both tarrifs were reduced from 12.5c to 5c excluding all taxes. NetOne has now announced the new tarrifs inclusive of tax: NetOne Tarrifs USD New Tarrif exc taxes USD New Tarrif inc taxes Data (Out of bundle) per MB 0.05 0.06 USSD Per Session 0.05 0.06 NetOne users have reason to be happy… Econet is the only network that offers their subscribers an option to enable or disable out of bundle browsing. When out-of-bundle browsing is disabled subscribers cannot access any internet services unless they have purchased a data bundle and this is vital because it ensures that you can rest easy knowing that airtime you have in your phone for calls will not be consumed o
Will Wallet-To-Wallet Transfers Really Change The Fortunes Of OneMoney And Telecash?

Will Wallet-To-Wallet Transfers Really Change The Fortunes Of OneMoney And Telecash?

FinTech, Telecomms
It is no secret that the government is not too chuffed about EcoCash’s dominance in Zimbabwe. The minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira is on record multiple times saying as much. The fact that the government has two products of its own in direct competition with EcoCash and yet combine to command a pitiful 2% market share makes it harder to swallow. EcoCash came out swinging and has an extensive agent and merchant network to show for it. Network effects then made it so that Netone’s OneMoney and Telecel’s telecash cannot compete. The government decided to use its unfettered powers to even the playing field. How did OneMoney and telecash fall behind? It is true that EcoCash is too dominant but that is because of the misplaced priorities and lack of foresight from the competition. We foun
James Makamba Not Out, Says He Didn’t Resign From Telecel

James Makamba Not Out, Says He Didn’t Resign From Telecel

Telecomms, What's Hot
Earlier today we reported that the Telecel power struggle seemed to have come to a halt. The news was initially reported on The Times (a South African publication). James Makamba -through his lawyers- has denied that there have been any changes to the ownership structures. Makamba’s lawyers sent out an email to media houses disputing the claims that there has been a takeover: ALL MEDIA HOUSE PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA advertisement HARARE Dear Sirs, RE: STATEMENT OF FACTUAL POSITION We have been instructed by Dr. James Makamba our client and owner of investment vehicle known as Kestrel Corporation (Private) Limited to correct certain factual inaccuracies in media reports which claim that an Extra Ordinary General Meeting was held on the 7th of June 2018 at 8:30am at Telec
Entrepreneur Writes To Strive Masiyiwa And POTRAZ, Says Econet Stole His Idea

Entrepreneur Writes To Strive Masiyiwa And POTRAZ, Says Econet Stole His Idea

News, Security, Start Ups, Telecomms
When startups pitch to big companies there is usually some fear on their end as they are afraid of getting their ideas stolen and them being left in the dust. One such person who claims they were affected by this is Ignatius Munengwa. He claims Econet stole an idea he pitched to them back in 2011. Last year, he took the telecommunications giant to court over the issue (the issue is not yet resolved in court) and it seems now he is back! He has sent a letter of complaint to POTRAZ (the regulator for all telecommunication companies in the country) over the same issue and seems to be fighting his battle on two fronts now. A quick recap… In 2011 M Comm pitched a security response product called ‘Panic Button.’ This product was supposed to be linked to security companies’ rapid response
Telone Reduces Interest On Business Bills From 2009

Telone Reduces Interest On Business Bills From 2009

Telecomms
Government-owned Telone has softened its stranglehold on debtors by reducing interest rates on their arrears that were accumulated in 2009. Many businesses and individuals are saddling huge debts that were incurred in 2009. The debts have been a moot issue because debtors say that their debts were inflated following the transition from the Zim Dollar pricing to US Dollar pricing era. When TelOne started billing customers in US dollars back in February 2009, it was accused of having converted Zimbabwean Dollar bills to US dollars at unrealistic exchange rates resulting in ridiculously high bills which subscribers failed to settle. Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has reported that the interest rates charged on Telone debts will fall from 3% to 0.04% and the reprieve will o...
Will Telecel’s Ownership Issues Ever End?

Will Telecel’s Ownership Issues Ever End?

Telecomms, What's Hot
It seems the Telecel shareholding issues will not go away. After the acquisition of Telecel by the government back in 2015 the shareholding issue had quietened down but it seems that was just the calm before the storm. Back then, the government acquired a 60% stake and it seems the remaining 40% will now be a bone of contention. What now? Back in 2015 Empowerment Corporation (EC), acquired a 40% stake from Telecel.Of the guys involved this time around, Gerald Mlotshwa’s shareholding of Telecel came about through his stake in EC. The shareholding tussles at Telecel are making headlines again as formerly self-exiled businessman James Makamba is now claiming he never sold his stake to Mlotshwa. Gerald Mlotshwa is a businessman-cum-lawyer who also happens to own a 50% stak
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