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Zimbabwe firms look to leverage cloud-hosted datacentres

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Zimbabwe , 19 Mar 2020
Inter-operability plays out in the market to facilitate cross-platform use of FinTech services.
Inter-operability plays out in the market to facilitate cross-platform use of FinTech services.

Zimbabwean tech and telecom companies are leaning on cloud computing and inter-operability to deploy cyber datacentres and ensure cross-platform usage of FinTech services.

This is expected to ease transaction hurdles and data hosting headaches for local companies – especially after local internet firm Dandemutande unveiled a cloud-hosted datacentre in Harare.

“We (have) setup Zimbabwe’s first fully public cloud datacentre. Our datacentre operations equip you for colocation, business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning,” said Never Ncube, chief executive officer of Dandemutande.

The company also offers internet services for Zimbabwean corporates and is controlled by investment firm, Masawara.

Datacentres have been established in Zimbabwe, including two by TelOne in 2018 under the National Data Centre project, but most of these are not cloud-hosted.

Apart from moving datacentres to the cloud, Zimbabwean mobile money platform, EcoCash recently announced that its FinTech service is now fully inter-operational with rival platforms One Money and Telecash and is now also integrated with most traditional finance institutions, including banks.

“Interoperability helps tear down barriers by enabling transactions between customer accounts of different mobile money and banking services,” said Cassava Smartech, which now runs EcoCash after it was spun off from Econet.

Analysts say enhanced infrastructure sharing will help inter-operability and reduce costs for other broader telecom services, in light of continued rising tariffs.

According to data from the regulator Potraz, Econet and NetOne – the two biggest mobile operators in Zimbabwe – are sharing only four base stations.

“To date, 164 base stations have been identified (for sharing) and surveyed. To date NetOne and Econet are sharing four base stations; implementation at four more base stations is in progress,” stated Potraz.

NetOne and fixed phone operator TelOne – both are controlled by the state – are sharing 177 base stations.

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