Zim BlackBerry services still banned
GOVERNMENT| Oct. 3, 2011, 12:39 p.m.
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.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Egyptian tech firms expand African footprint with potential deals worth $7mEgypt’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 applicationsMicrosoft 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/SMSThe 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 commissionedGhana’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 chiefNIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy. Read More
Kenyan ICT on track for strong growthThe 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 CICsGhana’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 ForumThe 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 ICTAirtel 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 systemAlcatel-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
FEATURED STORYThe 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.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC 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.