This weekend, Siziba’s Broadlands Networks will move towards that reality with a launch.
Already, Siziba says his company has rolled out data services — internet and e-mail — in and around Harare’s CBD.
But voice services are where his heart is. He hopes the network will target a mass market buoyed by a lower price.
On Wednesday Siziba said: “Our model is meant for the masses and the masses will afford the service. Our charge for voice service is US$120 a year until our next anniversary.”
Siziba says his company would this weekend run commercial trials with 5 000 subscribers until the end of this month.
Subscribers would have unlimited talk time for US$120 annually. Apart from that, subscribers would have unrestricted calls to a destination of their choice.
He said: “We are starting commercial trials on Saturday where we want to test the efficiency. We are trying on 5 000 subscribers to the end of January. Full service will start in February after sorting out numbering issues with Portraz (Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe).”
He says next month the company would be ready to roll out service on a mass scale.
“We launched a data network in October. That is basically internet, e-mail and fund transfer. We are already offering video on demand. We support those services and fibre around the whole CBD, Newlands, Borrowdale, Mt Pleasant and Avondale,” Siziba said. “On top of that radio overlay network, which is almost like a base station, is at our disposal for clients who require wireless internet. There will be no limit on calls and clients can call to unlimited destinations. Our service is not only available in Zimbabwe, it connects with any broadband network. Our service is available on three major screens, computer, television and the mobile screen.”
Siziba says his network will ensure that everyone with a television set can access the Internet if one acquires a Set Top Box which will act as a processor while the TV becomes a monitor.
He said: “More importantly, for the common man on the street, your TV becomes a computer. A Set Top Box transforms your TV into a monitor. On the Set Top Box you can connect a keyboard and have a computer experience.”
The launch will pose stiff competition for established mobile phone operators in Zimbabwe, namely Econet, Telecel and NetOne.