Why Zimbabwe Should Celebrate World Telecommunication Day

Zimbabweans will early next month join the world in celebrating the World Telecommunication and Information society day at an event to be held in Plumtree.

Running under the theme Big Data for Big Impact, Zimbabwe has something to celebrate in terms of big data as well as telecommunications.

By TechnoMag Reporter

This year saw the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe loosening its grip on promotions run by mobile network operators.

Much to the pleasure of consumers, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe as well as government controlled MNOs Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne unleashed various promotions.

NetOne recently launched its One-Fi and One Cliq, while Telecel unveiled its Mega Boost Bundles.

Econet also released its ‘Wifi in the Kombis’ promotion, with Telecel also unleashed about 70 public hotspots around the country.

Last Friday, NetOne embarked on a nationwide campaign of employing over 20 000 people who act as agents selling NetOne products. This project which started in Harare will be rolled out to nine more provinces where the company recruits 2000 per province.

These promotions make the market landscape exciting as companies’ stealth is put to the test for the benefit of many Zimbabweans.

Flashback. Following an outcry in January over the hiking of data costs by MNOs, Zimbabweans in the end emerged victorious. Dubbed the #DataMustFall campaign, companies were forced to review their prices downward by Government. ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira had to take a breather from a vacation to attend to the call by Zimbabweans to address the issue of high data costs.

The foiled destruction of Zimbabwe’s creative hub, Moto Republik is another reason to celebrate. Moto Republik escaped demotion by a whisker as the Harare City Council pushed for the end of the hub. Moto Republik managed had to engage Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere for the place to survive as well as employing online petition tools such as Change.org.

All this proved to be useful. Moto Republik is still up and running as the place hosts various tech boot camps.

The certification helps the nation in the long run as it  uncovers hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful information that can help organizations make more-informed business decisions.

Collection of existing and new data and storing them in computers for future analysis and manipulation when new technology is developed presents an opportunity for today’s work to feed into future work.

TelOne in March also launched a Data Centre as part of the company’s efforts to transform its business model through a shift from a fixed landline to a broadband based business.

To TelOne, the Data Centre will create a huge data storage and processing facility to cater for the current and future information and communication technology (ICT) processing needs of enterprise in Zimbabwe and beyond.

A Data Centre has a number of benefits to both businesses and individuals.

Firstly, the server is going to be kept in a secure environment that is prepared for the eventuality of power cuts. A Data Centre will have huge banks of batteries and generators that will keep the electricity flowing indefinitely whilst the power outage is fixed.

Secondly, a Data Centre is secure. It is typically manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week and be physically very difficult to break into. The telone Data Centre is secured with biometric checks in place so no one without the required clearance will have access.

Then there is the issue of connectivity. The Data Centre will have multiple high bandwidth and geographically diverse fibre connections to the internet. When we say geographically diverse we mean from different network providers and physically coming from different directions e.g. one from the North side of the building and one from the South – if a digger breaks one the other is still going to be ok.

But on the flip side of things, Zimbabweans still feel the data costs are still high. Further, access to data in marginal areas is another concerning issue. More so, the expeditious tabling of cyber law is something that the public awaits with MPs in the ICT Postal and Courier Services parliamentary portfolio committee impatient to review it.

Zimbabweans are still looking forward to a Government portal that is active. At the moment, access to government information is little as the portal is not regularly updated.

Nonetheless, Potraz has been making significant strides in ensuring that budding start-ups get the exposure they deserve. It recently unveiled the Innovation Drive where it invited interested technopreneirs to apply for the $25 million revolving fund.

So overall, Zimbabweans have something to celebrate.

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