Zimbabwe’s changing internet service delivery landscape: a perspective from ZOL

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
ZOL Executives D. Behr and D. Marandure
ZOL Executives D. Behr and D. Marandure
ZOL senior executives David Behr and Denny Marandure

The landscape around internet service delivery is changing rapidly, something that has resulted in ISPs like ZOL exploring the possibilities of extending services into the provision of entertainment services (IPTV) and VoIP calling, something that has been offered by other IAPs for a while now.

The exciting new terrain is obviously IPTV, something that ZOL Zimbabwe hasn’t officially launched but has been working on delivering, thanks to the opportunity of fibre presented by parent company Liquid Telecoms.

The pay TV market is very aggressive and has drawn a lot of African players. With ISPs jumping in through IPTV it can get only more competitive. Internet TV is generally expected to be the one service that will disrupt the monopoly on entertainment that Multichoice currently possesses through its DStv brand.

Presented with a model that allows you to select what you want to watch as opposed to the bouquet option, it obviously has a greater pull for subscribers who get to determine what exactly they want to watch and pay for.

With the power of fibre connectivity extending to more efficient delivery of content, Multichoice is reportedly keen on exploring the cable route by pushing its content through providers that have the infrastructure. So perhaps the owners of the platform like ZOL/Liquid have an upper hand.

How does ZOL view their future role as deliverers of content? What is their opinion on the competition they will be up against in guys like Multichoice? How are internet services going to be made available to more people? These are some of the issues in this podcast.

Please feel free to share your comments and views on the issue discussed in this podcast. How do you think Internet will disrupt the provision of TV services in Africa?

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Update: We have just received this update from the the CEO of ZOL, Denny Marandure on the publication of this article:

I refer to the article that appeared in Techzim today that was not sanctioned by David or myself.

Our position when asked about IPTV offering has always been to be upfront about the procedures and process involved in the launching of such a service. I would like to clarify a few things,

1) We acknowledge that we need government of Zimbabwe approval to launch a service such as IPTV. At present we do not have such approval so we cannot talk about the existence of such a service until such approval has been requested, application submitted and approval granted.

2). When and if such approval is granted, we do not intend to be a competitor to Multichoice or provide Live TV as can be inferred from the published article. We are going to be providing complimentary service to DSTV, through our Video on Demand product such as Netflix provides in the USA. There will be no Live TV offering with our service.

It’s only logical that we must leverage our parent company’s robust fiber network, Liquid Telecom to meet our customers’ needs but we are very cognizant of the fact that all this must be done in respect and compliance with our government rules and regulations.

At ZOL Zimbabwe we are passionate about what the future holds as the connected world opens up new markets, billions of new customers, and an explosion of innovation that will fuel our economic growth and spread prosperity around the globe for decades to come. We are in a golden age of innovation. With great innovations and opportunities on the horizon, we should continue to focus on the needs of the consumer and encourage policies that will ensure the continued growth and innovation of this remarkable internet ecosystem we have all helped to create.

We regret any inferences made in this article.

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  1. Evans

    All these guys should 1st sort their connectivity before they start hallucinating about IPTV. Its always buffering when streaming a 3 mins YouTube video and for them to talk of IPTV is really an insult to us customers!

    1. Anonymous


  2. Ndini Wenyu

    I think their Fibroniks services are world class. got mine in November.. forgot I actually have an internet connection.. It just works!! i bet IPTV would work just fine!!