Blackberry service awaiting approval –– Telecel

Taurai Mangudhla

TELECEL Zimbabwe, the second largest mobile phone service provider by subscriber base, says it has dedicated resources to pioneer a Blackberry messenger service to enable users to send e-mail and access internet at all times.

Chief executive Aimable Mpore said work to provide the facility was underway and success of the project depended on approval of various contracts submitted to the company’s service providers.

“We know that our subscribers would like this service (Blackberry service) but its provision is dependent on many agreements being ratified. We are working towards this,” he said.

The Blackberry smart phone handles email and calendars from enterprise-class email systems. It enables subscribers to access internet, voice calls and short-messaging services. Heavy encryption makes the messenger convenient for users without being monitored.

The utility will benefit subscribers who need to or would like to be connected at all times to the digital world. Whether instant messaging, sending or receiving e-mails or browsing the web, the Blackberry offers the subscriber greater efficiency than most handsets or systems.

While businesspeople are principal targets, Mpore said the Blackberry platform was ideal for everyone.
“Even 14-year-old students become Blackberry users, primarily because of the Blackberry instant messenger which they find cheap and easy to use”.

Mpore said Telecel had installed the required equipment to commercially launch broad band internet on its network although the company had failed to meet a previously announced schedule for end of 2010.

“We have finished installation of equipment in the targeted areas in Harare and Bulawayo. Equipment for the other areas has arrived and is being installed,” he said.

Mpore added that it was difficult to give dates for when these services will be available as some situations are beyond Telecel’s control.

“We are depending on other service providers. These service providers have faced operational challenges of their own in meeting original timelines”.

The Telecel boss said they had increased the number of subscribers benefiting from free broadband access as part of their trial process.

“We have offered more subscribers free broadband access as part of our testing process.  We did this just before the Christmas holiday,” said Mpore.

The assessment process targeted most of Telecel’s high profile users so they could assist in dimensioning and profiling the service before its commercial launch.

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