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Chelsea’s old guard not yet a write-off

IT was with great pleasure that I received news of Broadlands Networks’ entry into the world of ICT Zimbabwe in the article “Siziba set to launch 4G network” (Zimbabwe Independent, January 15).

I have a few issues –– not only for Broadlands but for most of the players in this sector, namely Econet, Ecoweb, NetOne.
For a start I think Chemist Siziba knows that to be in that field one has to offer as much information about his company and products as possible –– unless the information has been given to a priviledged few, in which case it ceases to be mass market-orientated.
I have tried several times to google his company but it is nowhere to be found. They are even trailing Thomas Mapfumo who can be googled and has his music labels available online. Save for Mweb, all the other ICT players have no websites because most of them have not updated them recently, including the biggest mobile provider which has some articles dating back to 2006!
In a country with about 11 million people you don’t expect to have half the population being subscribers. Added to the worrying figure, we already have Econet having taken three million subscribers. Telecel is gunning for 1,2 million. NetOne can easily take the same number as Econet’s given its infrastructure.
I pray the company did not commit itself to huge unsustainable loans which make it a candidate for liquidation before it has connected a fraction of a percent. Broadlands does not have any network to talk about if it can only service parts of the CBD and possibly hot spots near its directors’ residences!
TelOne, with the right partner can simply unsettle all these newcomers just by adding dedicated Internet connections and providing cable television connections, even to those who don’t want land lines.

Glen View.

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