Zim BlackBerry services still banned

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Zim BlackBerry services still banned

By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe

The use of popular BlackBerry services will remain banned in Zimbabwe while authorities probe the legality of its use in the country, according to the telecommunications industry regulatory body, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

While BlackBerry devices are available in Zimbabwe, the use of the BlackBerry Messaging services has not yet been allowed, reportedly due to security concerns.

“We are discussing with operators the impact of the BlackBerry service on the lawful Interception of Communications Act,” Potraz director-general Charles Sibanda said.

The Act allows the State to intercept and monitor communications in the course of their transmission through a telecommunication, postal or any other related service or system in Zimbabwe.

Local mobile networks, Econet Wireless and Telecel earlier this year expressed interest in introducing Blackberry services to the Zimbabwean market.

Local media reports recently suggested that Information and Communications Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa had approved Econet's rollout of the BlackBerry system but was overruled by his government colleagues, who feared the possible impact of its social networking capabilities.

The BlackBerry message service was a key technology in the uprisings in the Arab uprising which led to the fall of governments in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year.

Zimbabwe’s economy is recovering under an uneasy unity government forged by long time rivals, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008 and tensions are never far from the surface.

However, many Zimbabweans enjoy the services on South African lines which they can use because of roaming agreements between the networks in the two southern African countries.

The local mobile networks have declined to comment on the matter.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Egyptian tech firms expand African footprint with potential deals worth $7m

Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) helped setting out a number of partnership protocols and concluding business agreements between Egyptian companies and 17 leading African telecom companies, financial institutions and ICT enterprises, in 6 different African countries. Read More

Accra to become first ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Africa with Microsoft CityNext applications

Microsoft Ghana, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and African Descent signed an agreement to make the city of Accra in Ghana Africa’s first ‘Centre of Excellence’, through the use of Microsoft’s CityNext applications.  Read More

Malawi Government levies tax on Internet/SMS

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe at Parliament The Malawi Government has announced that it will levy a 10 percent excise duty on mobile phone text messaging as well as all data transfers, including internet and similar services. Read More

Ghana’s 800km fibre optic backbone commissioned

Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has commissioned an 800km Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic backbone which runs through 20 districts. Read More

NIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief

NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy. Read More

Kenyan ICT on track for strong growth

The Kenyan government projects that the country’s ICT sector will approach 20% growth by 2017, with the government making every effort to help boost this growth. Read More

Ghana commissions enhanced CICs

Ghana’s Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, has commissioned and handed over an Enhanced Community Information Centre (E-CIC) to La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region under the e-governance project. Read More

Rwanda hosts Africa Broadband and Universal Service Funds Forum

The Africa Broadband and Universal Service Funds (USF) forum brought together broadband stakeholders from all over Africa in Kigali for a three-day forum this week. Read More

Airtel, Ghana Communications Ministry promote girls in ICT

Airtel Ghana has partnered the Ministry of Communication to celebrate International Telecommunication Union Girls in ICT Day.  Read More

Alcatel-Lucent, Algeria to build Orval undersea cable system

Alcatel-Lucent and the Algerian Ministry of Post, Information Technology and Communications have signed a turnkey agreement for the deployment of the Orval system, an over 560 km fiber-optic undersea cable that will link Oran in Algeria to Valencia, Spain.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

The transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in GhanaThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana

Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.

IN DEPTH

NIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chiefNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief

NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.