Zimbabwe’s first Broadband Forum, which is being sponsored by Telecel and a number of other companies, is scheduled for 10 May at Cresta Lodge in Harare.
Speakers include experts from other parts of Africa, as well as local experts, and a representative of a consortium that owns multiple submarine cables that connect with many of Africa’s internet service providers.
Telecel has partnered Techzim to make possible this unique forum, in which providers of broadband services and other interested stakeholders, will be able to exchange ideas and debate key Information Communication Technology (ICT) issues.
“Telecel is well known for its affordable data services. Our support for this broadband forum is intended to help stimulate debate around how to provide data services more affordably and at increasingly better quality levels,” said Telecel public relations and corporate social responsibility manager Francis Chimanda.
As the forum’s major sponsor and a provider of high speed broadband services itself, Telecel is hoping that the broadband forum will help increase the focus on making internet connectivity more widely available, at affordable rates, to everyday Zimbabweans for leisure and business purposes at the highest possible quality levels.
“The broadband forum is an important platform for the technology sector. Our support is meant to help increase dialogue around key ICT issues, especially those that affect the mobile communications industry,” Mr Chimanda said.
Broadband has become more than a fast way to access the information superhighway. A World Economic Forum’s network readiness report says digitisation has boosted world economic output by US$ 193 billion between 2010 and 2012 and created six million jobs during that period.
The Broadband Forum will give stakeholders an opportunity to track the progress so far in Zimbabwe in making broadband readily available and to come up with ideas for unlocking the latent opportunities that Zimbabwe can tap into.
Although the country has enjoyed healthy growth where internet connectivity is concerned, due largely to favourable national policies and increased competition, a lot more needs to be done to bring down costs and connect the bottom of the pyramid, a spokesperson for the organisers said. The country as a whole is not adding value to the capacity available at its disposal, he said.
Techzim, which is hosting the event, is a leading digital media technology site that helps stakeholders, consumers and policy makers better understand key ICT issues through the news and commentaries on ICT.
Among the presenters scheduled to speak at the forum are Zol chief executive David Behr, Ministry of ICT Permanent Secretary Sam Kundishora, James Wekesa from WIOCC, a consortium that owns and operates multiple submarine cables supplying Africa’s internet, Winston Riston from IConnect, Zambia’s largest internet service provider, Telecel marketing director Octivius Kahiya, Techzim’s Limbikani Kabweza and Amanda Donahue from Kencall, Kenya’s largest Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) company.
“The business world is relying more and more on the internet and so are individuals. The pending Broadband Forum is therefore a platform for increasing dialogue around the key ICT issues, particularly those affecting the mobile communications industry,” said Mr Chimanda.
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