In Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless has upped the ante in 5G infrastructure investments as the mobile operator sees opportunities in emerging technologies.
After installing 12 new base stations during the fiscal year that ended in February, the mobile operator is expanding 5G coverage in the country.
Founded by telecoms mogul Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is a subsidiary of Econet Group, a telecoms and technology group with operations and investments in 29 African and European countries.
Econet Zimbabwe has increased network buildout investments as the race to deploy 5G escalates across Africa.
The company is accelerating its deployment plans and says its 5G and network modernisation rollout plan will increase access to newer technologies such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, ultra-high-definition video streaming, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.
In the year, to meet the growing demand for voice and data traffic, the mobile operator commissioned 80 new base stations providing additional coverage and capacity.
James Myers, Econet chairman, said, “We commenced the deployment of a new modern core network with new generation cloud capabilities. We also deployed state-of-the-art data centre infrastructure to ensure high network availability as part of this network modernisation effort.”
Regarding the regulatory environment, Econet says its efforts to provide quality services were continuously hampered by extensive loadshedding on the national power grid.
Myers added, “For the period under review, load shedding averaged 18 hours a day. Consequently, the business resorted to alternative energy sources to power the network. Unfortunately, this significantly increased our cost of providing services to our customers.
“The business also experienced vandalism on our critical network infrastructure. To reduce vandalism on our network equipment, the business instituted various monitoring and deterrent measures to secure the various network elements that are being targeted.”
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