TechZim`s Broadband Forum 2014 An Eye Opener

After successfully holding their inaugural broadband forum last year, The second session of Techzim`s broadband FORUM 2014 came to life recently on the 6th of June roping strategic technological players to converge and discuss about broadband in Zimbabwe at cresta lodge in Harare , Zimbabwe.

According to TechZim, Keynote speakers lined up for the forum possess a keen insight on broadband and broadband enabled services and its progression locally, regionally and internationally and through a two way exchange they shared their insights and discussing pertinent questions around the real opportunities of broadband for businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs.

By TechnoMag Writer

Cloud Computing In Africa : Separating Reality from Myth (Tonderai Sibanda – Manager, SEACOM)

Zimbabwe’s Broadband Infrastructure : Capacity and Opportunity for Digital Information, Entertainment and Commerce (Wellington Makamure – MD & Group Executive Southern Africa, Liquid Telecom Group)

Price and Quality : The Broadband Duo (James Wekesa – CTO, WIOCC EASSy Undersea Fibre Cable)

The VAS and App Ecosystem in the Mobile Broadband Arena (Leon de Fleuriot – GM Products & Services, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe)

Data and Application hosting Infrastructure (Michele Scanlon – CEO, Dandemutande – Utande uMAX brands)
Connectivity in remote places : Closing the gap where fibre fears to tread (Joseph Machiva – Sales and Marketing Director, TelOne)

Upskilling for the Digital Economy
(Dr Hapanyengwi – Director of ICT, University of Zimbabwe)
Discussion Panel – Positioning for the new Broadband Ecosystem : FTTH. IPTV, OTT Services, Cloud Services and Payments (Wellington Makamure, Joseph Machiva, James Wekesa, Leon de Fleuriot, Tonderai Sibanda and a POTRAZ Representative.

Potraz representative Mr Muzhuzha, mainly emphasized on the morality part of internet usage from the youth which is being done the wrong way with youth surfing pornographic sites which has a high number of usage, he urged all the parents to protect their children from such by saying “children should be watched when it comes to what they are searching for online”.
He went on to state that Potraz is working closely with MNO’s to make sure that theconsumer promises they make are met and delivered, he also envisaged that Potraz is enforcing the service offered by MNO’S and other players is to be of quality .

The Managing Director of Liquid Group Mr Wellington Makamure talked for the need to have an increase in the number of telecommunication players in the industry to ensure that the prices will be lowered because of the competition, he mentioned that what really can reduce prices in the industry of telecommunication is the increase of competitors.

Mr Makamure said the “policies are much louder than opinion in the telecommunications industry and this hinders growth “ this was followed by his statement explanation saying that Potraz needs to be flexible in their policies that they make. Mr Makamure further went on to address the challenge of hostility and hate amongst competitors in the telecommunications industry.
Mrs Scanlon C.E.O of Dande Mutande shared some wise well researched information to share, she mentioned the advantages of hosting your website locally which were as follows:-Bandwidth Requirements, the local companies will have a bandwidth that they require for their internet services. Regulatory Factors; the regulatory board in local area is much flexible to the citizens. Localized customer Support; there is much more customer support by local hosting firms to the local customers.

She also spoke on the issues that had to do with success factors of buying better Broadband as a means that allows to surf the internet without any difficulties of speed. High availability – internet connection must be highly available if not always available,with Network design- the network design has to be relevant to your organization or user, noted.


Mr. Manguwa, representing Econet Wireless Zimbabwe presented on the value added services through the use of technological products, he started off by mentioning billionaire acquisitions which were currently made which are Beats by Dre and Whatsapp. Mr. Manguwa stated that “customers are willing to pay if service is right”, he added that further that the roles of Service Operator which are as follows:
Innovation which encompasses updates relevance stating that contest needs to be refreshed.
Product simplicity and quality, Increase in the speed of broadband infrastructure, handset upgrades, and aggressive marketing and supporting the end user.
The Marketing Director of Telone, Mr Joseph Machiva, gave his share of presentation which was filled with wisdom and facts on the internet usage in Zimbabwe in 2007 penetration were close to 0 while in 2013 its 31.5% and subsquently now at 34% according to the last official statics.
He added that this has shown an increase in the use of internet , however stated another current fact saying over 7 million Zimbabweans do not have internet coverage which showed that the market was unexploited.

Mr. Machiva stated the need to have internet which were economic growth, employment, health care and education, he further more stated the problems that were being faced by service providers which are :-availability of electricity he said that Zimbabwe has shortage of sufficient electricity for fully functional servers of internet, geographical installations is too high for local service providers to install country wide coverage fiber.
The Telone marketing director also gave us an insight into the new product which enables everyone to access internet all across Zimbabwe by use of satellites.


Onwell Matienga

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