Category Archives: Technology

Zimbabwe regime to introduce drones for border patrols

DJ1 Phantom Quadcopter Drone in flight – September 2014 Photo by: Paul Mayall/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

HARARE – In an effort to deal with increasing smuggling and drug trafficking, government is planning to introduce drones to patrol the country’s porous borders, deputy minister of Home Affairs Obedingwa Mguni revealed to Senate last week.

Speaking during last week’s question and answer session, Mguni said they were targeting to improve the country’s weak borders through deployment of drones.

“We have implemented new technology. We are bringing in the drones that are able to fly, patrolling along the border post. We have an inter-ministerial committee which involves the ministry of Finance and other ministries like ministry of Mines. We are buying those machines so that they can fly there and we can see who is crossing so that we can search those people. Most of the drug carriers are using such areas.

“However, the fight against drugs is not only with the police, it is also with the public,” said Mguni.

Mguni added that the country is being flooded with harmful drugs because of the weak border posts security.

“The police — their objective is to prevent, detect and stop any criminal activities within the country and even abroad, through Interpol. The drug issue is a world syndrome that is challenging all under-developed countries.

“However, when you look at where the drugs are manufactured it is counties like Columbia, Brazil, even Mozambique where there are plants. They are flooding into the country like Zimbabwe through the border or boundaries where we have very weak boundaries without security barriers.

“By security barriers I mean that in some parts…we have got rivers like Limpopo, Zambezi where people cannot just cross but if you go to the eastern side you can drive your cattle and walk across. A lot of people think they will come through the official border post.  No, they are areas where there just cross into a country without being detected.”

Mguni added that the government must open rehabilitation centres to educate youths on drugs. – Daily News

Masiyiwa will be a keynote speaker at Mobile World Congress 2017, industry’s largest exhibition conference

Mobile World Congress 2017 – this year’s edition of the mobile industry’s largest annual exhibition and conference  -is around the corner.

As the event that has consistently introduced the world to some awesome tech (Samsung usually launches its flagship device there) and interesting insights, it’s already inspired a lot of talk and predictions.

As is always the case with MWC, the mobile industry’s leaders, rockstar and up-and-coming brands, opinion makers and influencers will descend on Barcelona, Spain.

They will spend a few days (from 27 February to 2 March 2017) exploring the latest developments in the industry, covering growth strategies for mobile services and discussing issues that will shape the industry in 2017 and beyond.

Strive Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean entrepreneur and founder of Econet Wireless has been listed as one of the keynote speakers over MWC’s 4 day period. He is set to speak on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through Mobile.

He joins 37 other technology and mobile industry leaders that include Sunil Bharti Mittal (founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises), Reed Hastings (Netflix founder and CEO), Stéphane Richard (Chairman and CEO of Orange), Eugene Kaspersky (Chairman and CEO  of Kaspersky), Ted Livingston (Founder and CEO of Kik), Rajeev Suri (CEO of Nokia) and John Hanke (Creator of Pokemon GO and Founder & CEO of Niantic).

If you have any interest in the mobile industry you might want to check out not only Strive Masiyiwa’s keynote but all the other insights that will be shared by these industry leaders. – TechZim

Liquid Telecom acquires Tanzania’s ISP Raha

Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom has completed the acquisition of Tanzania’s leading internet service provider, Raha.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

Liquid is a subsidiary of Econet Global and will strengthen Raha’s position in the Tanzania market through further investment in both its network and services.

Raha will become part of Liquid Telecom’s extensive fibre network, providing businesses with access to one single network that runs all the way from Cape Town up through Dar es Salaam and onto Nairobi, stretching over 40 000km and connecting 12 countries, it said.

“We welcome Raha as the latest exciting addition to the Liquid Telecom group. Tanzania is a rapidly growing and dynamic African market, and through this acquisition, we will be able to greatly support the demand for internet access across the country,” Nic Rudnick, Liquid Telecom group CEO, said.

Raha currently serves over 1 500 businesses, as well as a growing number of retail customers with a range of connectivity solutions, including fibre, satellite, WiMAX and WiFi.

Liquid Telecom plans to invest further in the rollout of fibre across Tanzania, enabling greater access to high-speed, reliable broadband for more businesses and households.

The rollout of new fibre will also help provide high-speed connectivity to more government schools across the country, supporting key education initiatives by the State.

Liquid Telecom also plans to significantly increase the number of free WiFi hotspots throughout Tanzania, helping to bridge the digital divide by providing more of the population with access to the internet.

Raha has already introduced over 150 free WiFi hotspots across all major cities in Tanzania, which are currently enjoyed by over 150 000 unique users.

Raha CEO Aashiq Shariff said with Liquid’s support, “Raha can explore new ways to increase connectivity within Tanzania as well as to the rest of the region”.

“We will also benefit from the group’s skills and expertise, helping us to achieve our vision of a more connected Tanzania,” Shariff said.

Liquid Telecom has built Africa’s largest single fibre network currently spanning over 40 000km, including Neotel’s network, across borders and covering Africa’s fastest-growing economies, where no fixed network has existed before.

Working under various brands, the Liquid Telecom Group has operating entities in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Raha was one of the first companies to bring internet to Tanzania, when it launched as a dial-up service in 1996.

It operates a 400km metro fibre optic network throughout the central business district of Dar es Salaam as well as other areas of the Tanzania capital. – NewsDay

Mobile operators lose over $26m in 10 months

MOBILE network operators could have lost more than $26 million or 186 million voice minutes between June 2015 and April 2016 as subscribers moved to Over The Top Services for voice calls which are cheaper than the normal direct dial up.

This means that during that period, Government lost about $4 million in potential tax revenue and the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe about $139 000 in regulatory fees.

Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT that stung by the falling revenues, the MNOs complained to his Ministry and to the regulator and proposed measures to deal with the OTT services.

“There was evidence that the entire sector was bleeding as a result of Over The Top services. From June 2015 to April 2016 mobile operators lost 186 million minutes in voice revenue and those minutes were lost to OTTs, Skype, WhatApp Calling, among others. The potential monetary loss to mobile networks as a result of those lost minutes for that period was about $26 million,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.

“Over the last year and a half the mobile network operators in this country have complained that they are losing significant revenue as a result of the advent of OTTs that are not necessarily offered by the networks themselves.

“All networks have approached my office as Minister to say that we really need to do something about this because the investment that we put in infrastructure is not going to be recouped because a lot of our revenue is now being lost. And they particularly highlighted revenue around the voice calls. So people were now using WhatsApp calling, Skype calling instead of the normal direct dial up. They also approached the regulator and said you need to help us come out of this problem otherwise we will end up closing down if we are not protected one way or the other,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.

The committee is probing a wide range of issues relating to the ICT industry particularly last month’s data tariff war, among other industry issues.

Following the decline in revenues, MNOs considered banning the OTT services as a measure to protect their businesses.

But Government turned down the request but instead sought to find a way that could ensure survival of the industry and yet fair to the consumers.

“Initially the operators themselves met and looked at various options which included the possibility of banning the OTT services.

“In discussions with Ministry they proposed this and many others but we said as a progressive Government we could not be seen to be challenging technology.

“We did not like the idea of banning the OTT services. If we are to allow our country to progress, we must embrace technology. If we are to be efficient we must embrace technology. If we are going to make small business enterprise successful we must embrace technology.

“This is why as Government we are hugely investing in technology because we believe that it is now a universal service required by everybody, a matter of human rights,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.

On the data tariff war that erupted at the beginning of the year which saw data prices going up following the setting of a floor price, Minister Mandiwanzira said Potraz was studying reactions received from the market.

“The regulator is now studying very carefully the various concerns that industry has raised and those raised by consumers, subscribers around the country in the aftermath of the price increase that was short-lived,” he said.

On his relationship with industry players, Minister Mandiwanzira denied that relationships had broken down with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

“I have invited Econet Zimbabwe for a cup of tea to say happy new year,” he said. – Herald

NetOne increases market share

HARARE – State-owned mobile telecommunications company, NetOne, has more than doubled its market in the past few years due to improved services, sound leadership  and innovative products, a Cabinet minister has said.

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi said NetOne must continue to  create high value capabilities and tap into the global market through unique products.

“As government we of late have been witnessing a lot of innovation, creativity and tremendous good work by NetOne with its market share growing now at 37 percent at one time it had a market share from 14 percent,” he said.

The Zanu PF legislator exhorted the country’s first mobile telecommunications firm’s management — led by acting chief executive Brian Mutandiro — to continue churning out innovative products and stay ahead of competitors.

“To the NetOne leadership, I say keep up the good work that you are doing and I encourage more synergies in your business to ensure that there is service competitiveness and seamless communication,” he said, adding that the company should revolutionise the telecommunications industry by offering new, attractive and affordable products such as One Fusion.

One Fusion is a popular product from NetOne which is very affordable and offers an all-round access to communication services.

The product’s bundles start from $5, all the way up to $200. One Fusion’s cheapest offering is the $5 which grants users 6 times more value of standard market rates. For thirty days you get 60 on net minutes, 18 minutes to other networks, 300MB Data, 700MB WhatsApp bundles, 900 MB Facebook bundles and 10sms’.

The larger offers, from $50 upwards, also include international voice minutes.

NetOne, which recently gained over 36 000 subscribers in January alone, was slowly evolving from being a voice company into an integrated communications firm.

Acting chairman Peter Chingoka recently thanked all the subscribers for migrating to NetOne.

“I want to thank the multitudes of subscribers who have in the last few months migrated to NetOne, those who have been with us and the potential ones for joining our family,” he said.

“We promise we will not let you down. You will enjoy our affordable rates in all our products,” Chingoka added

The mobile telecommunications giant embarked on a restructuring exercise from  2015 which brought in new blood that has blended with some who retained their posts. This has led to a rejuvenation in operations and an extensive market drive that is paying off. – Daily News

Woman sleeps with cellphone in panties to keep it from nosy husband

Elizabeth Musoni

FORGET passwords and patterns, a Bulawayo woman sleeps with her cellphone well placed in her panties to keep her “private” messages and calls from her nosy husband.

Elizabeth Musoni resorted to sleeping with her mobile phone in panties because she was tired of her husband, Richard Muvirimi, demanding  explanations about every message and call received.

“I don’t have peace anymore and I can’t even sleep peacefully because he wakes me up whether it’s at dawn or midnight asking about the messages and calls I receive. I felt it was best to put the phone in my panties because that way he won’t be bothered by my calls and messages,” said Musoni.

Muvirimi said he started getting suspicious of his wife when a man she claimed to be her uncle spent the night at their home and started sending his wife love messages.

“The reason why I wanted explanations is because the man she brought to our home and introduced as an uncle has been sending her love messages and calling non-stop. He even spent a night at our house but her relatives do not know him,” said Muvirimi.

He said ever since his wife introduced the “uncle” she had been receiving messages and calls from him all the time.

“I discovered that she is cheating when her phone slipped out of her panties at night. I went through her messages and when I woke her up to ask about the messages we started fighting,” said Muvirimi.

According to Musoni, Muvirimi does not want to accept that she does not love him anymore and is forcing her to stay with him.

“I feel like he is standing in my way and I believe I can get a better man than him. I just want him out of my life and he just doesn’t understand that,” she said.

Musoni applied for a protection order against Muvirimi stating that she did not want to stay with him anymore or to see him anywhere near her house.

“Your worship, he only comes home to sleep and does not buy groceries and clothes for the kids. I want a new man and I feel like he’s standing in my way. He doesn’t want to leave and he is violent. I want him gone,” she said.

Bulawayo magistrate Sheunesu Matova granted the protection order and told Muvirimi to move on with his life to avoid conflict.

“I advise you two to just separate peacefully and move on with your lives because your relationship is no longer healthy,” said Matova.

Facebook, Google join drive against fake news in France

Giant Internet firms Facebook and Google joined forces with news organizations on Monday to launch new fact-checking tools designed to root out “fake news” stories in France ahead of the country’s presidential election.

Social networks and news aggregators came under fire during the U.S. presidential vote when it became clear they had inadvertently fanned false news reports.

Facebook , said it would work with eight French news organizations, including news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), news channel BFM TV, and newspapers L’Express and Le Monde to minimize the risk that false news appeared on its platform.

Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, has 24 million users in France, more than a third of the country’s population. It will rely on users to flag fake news on its network so that the articles can then by fact-checked by its partner organizations.

Any news report deemed to be fake by two of its partners would then be tagged with an icon to show that the content is contested, Facebook said.

Facebook is also supporting a separate initiative launched by Google dubbed “CrossCheck” which calls on users to submit links to contested content to a dedicated website so that it can be investigated.

Seventeen French newsrooms have joined the project, including AFP and the French public national television broadcaster.

Facebook is also taking steps against fake news in Germany, where government officials have expressed concerns that false stories and hate speech online could influence a federal election in September in which chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term in office.

In the United States, Facebook has said users would in future find it easier to flag fake articles as a hoax, and added that it will work with organizations such as fact-checking website Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the authenticity of stories. – Reuters