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Zimbabwe minister Webster Shamu praises mobile sector

Zimbabwe minister Webster Shamu praises mobile sector.

Zimbabwe technology minister Webster Shamu has praised his country for rapidly adopting mobile phone technologies.

Shamu made the comments while speaking at a stakeholder launch event of Telecel Zimbabwe’s mobile money service Telecash.

Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate stands at around 100% of the country’s 13 million population, according to the country’s telecoms regulator.

“Zimbabwe has come a long way within a relatively short period of time when it comes to information communication technology,” said Shamu.

“However, still more needs to be done, particularly in terms of increasing broadband speeds.

“The ability to access the internet from mobile phones and communicate worldwide from mobile phones not just through phone calls but by e-mail and messaging has made it easier for business people to conduct their business from wherever they happen to be. It has made it easier for ordinary people to start their own businesses and create employment,” he said.

Shamu also turned his attention to praising Telecel for its mobile money launch this week.

Telecel is Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator with 2.5 million subscribers.

Telecash is set to be rival service to that of Econet’s EcoCash, which has notched up over 3 million users.

“Telecel has become known for its aggressive competitive marketing. This has not always gone down well with its competitors but it has benefited not only Telecel’s customers but Zimbabweans in general, as it has resulted in other networks responding by offering their own competitive promotions and services, making mobile phone services in general more affordable.

“I am pleased to hear that telecash transaction charges will, like other Telecel charges, be competitive,” he said.

Shamu also praised the competition that Telecel has brought to other aspects of Zimbabwe’s mobile market.

“In particular I should like to commend Telecel for the lead it took several years ago in bringing down dramatically the cost of SIM cards and mobile phone handsets.

“In doing this, Telecel introduced real competition into the mobile telecommunications sector, resulting in a general lowering of prices and in virtually every Zimbabwean, certainly in urban areas, being able to afford to own and use a mobile phone. This has had a tremendous impact on information communication,” he said.

Shamu’s ministerial portfolio includes not just information communication technology but also postal and courier services.

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