The assets of Zimbabwean telecoms start-up Spiritage, owner of wireless internet/voice operator Brodacom, are set to be acquired by the domestic Kingdom Bank via a court order to settle unpaid loans of USD20 million, according to local technology website TechZim quoting the print edition of the Daily News. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Brodacom, a brand owned by Valley Technologies, a unit of Spiritage, is among several ‘Class A’ internet access provider (IAP) licensees in Zimbabwe using CDMA-based access networks to operate broadband internet and IP voice services, offering mobility within the range of their base station rollouts. The database adds that Brodacom launched VoIP services in July 2011 over a TD-SCDMA-based wireless access network, which it rolled out to cover areas across Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Norton, Bulawayo and Mutare. In July 2012 it was reported that Brodacom had secured USD30 million funding to help finance further network rollout plans, including eight new base stations in Bulawayo and twelve in Harare, while it was expecting to sign an interconnect agreement with fixed line incumbent TelOne, after having already forged similar agreements with mobile operators Econet and Telecel, GlobalComms observed. However, as the TechZim report highlights, the newcomer had already hit serious debt and cash flow problems, having incurred ‘huge’ financial losses, while some employees at the Spiritage group who reportedly went more than a year without salaries have also sought court settlements, as have other creditors. TechZim adds that Spiritage has been evicted from its head office, while the news site’s recent enquiries to Spiritage’s founder, former Econet Wireless executive Zachary Wazara, have gone unanswered.
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