As expected, leading mobile network operator Econet Wireless – which won last year’s Best ICT Exhibition award and the coveted Best Overall Business Stand award – is back at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) this year, showcasing its growing range of smart consumer and business products to an even wider market than in previous years.
“We are excited to be at the Trade Fair again this year to exhibit our products and services and to give our business and consumer customers a first-hand opportunity to experience the products at our stand,” said Econet CEO Mr Douglas Mboweni.
“In spite of the current tough operating business environment, our presence at the ZITF demonstrates our long-term view on the economic prospects of our nation, our faith in this market and, above all, our commitment to deliver value to our customers through relentless innovation and smart digital solutions,” Mr Mboweni said.
This year Econet’s ZITF stand features some of the telco giant’s latest innovative products and cutting-edge digital services that immerse visitors in the product experiences.
Designed to project a very clean and modern look, the architecture of the stand uses digital, along with open spaces, to allow visitors to experience real-time product demos and smart digital simulations.
Various products and services are showcased on distinct bays on the stand, housed under the company’s Enterprise Business Solutions, Connected Lifestyle, Kwese iflix, Buddie Beatz, Elevate Gaming and the Omni Contact business process outsourcing hub.
“All our Trade Fair stand bays have been busy from day one, and we are encouraged by the interest that our Connected Lifestyle and Enterprise Business Solutions sections have attracted from business visitors and the public at large,” said Econet Chief Operating Officer Mr Fayaz King, on the sidelines of the Fair.
Econet has harnessed it digital capabilities to showcase IoT (Internet of Things)-based products, that include smart surveillance, facial recognition, an online bidding platform along with its established and growing Connected Car and Connected Home asset and personal security services.
“This is the inaugural showcasing of our smart surveillance solution and of facial recognition technology, which will simplify and yet significantly raise the level of access security while enhancing loss control management for both small and large enterprises,” Mr King said.
He said Econet was taking its enterprise business solutions to the next level, with managed services such as cloud computing, and was venturing into new market segments such as smart IoT diary solutions, which Econet is exhibiting at the ZITF under the banner of the ‘smart diary collar’.
“The IoT opportunities we see in the farming and agricultural sector are huge given that Zimbabwe’s economy is largely agro-based,” he said. “We are ready to play our part in using smart technology to help farmers manage their input costs and boost their yields – whether they are into crop farming or animal husbandry,” Mr King said, adding that Econet’s inaugural exhibition of the IoT dairy solution was just a taste of things to come.
Meanwhile Mr King said the use of cutting edge technology was not restricted to the enterprise and productive sectors only, but to multiple sectors – including entertainment and gaming.
“Visitors to our Buddie Beatz bay – which has been especially popular with the young, and the young at heart – have been treated to the first ever ‘silent disco’ shows as they sample hits from our new Buddie Beatz Music App, the first platform to protect musicians and artists’ intellectual property from piracy,” said Mr King.
“They are also enjoying our AR (Augmented Reality) experience for the first time, the moment they scan a special Zappar code which immediately allows them to listen to music from their favourite local artists,” he said.
Mr King said for the first time, Econet was exhibiting the new ‘Elevate Gaming’ platform its ZITF stand.
The company recently started piloting mobile games on 100 000 randomly selected customers, ahead of full commercial launch at the end of this month. The pilot followed the successful launch of Elevate Gaming, first unveiled at an Elevate Gaming Tournament earlier in the month in Harare.
Mr King said he was excited by the response to mobile gaming at the ZITF Econet stand, and by the 100 000 customers piloting the mobile games.
“Our awareness drive, especially among the youth segment, has gone extremely well, as evidenced by the crowds at our Elevate Gaming bay at the ZITF,” he said.
He also announced that Econet would be hosting the inaugural Elevate physical gaming tournament at the ZITF in Bulawayo at the weekend, with up to RTGS$10 000 worth of prizes and gives-aways to be won. Mr King also confirmed that Econet Wireless, the largest mobile network operator in Zimbabwe, has deployed a COW (Cell On Wheels) to boost visitors’ mobile connectivity at the Trade Fair grounds in Bulawayo, throughout the ZITF week.