Econet to embark on major data network upgrade

Econet to embark on major data network upgrade
Published: 13 July 2017 (217 Views)
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which controls 98 percent of the Long Term Evolution data customer market share, has announced a major data network upgrade that will see the mobile network market leader achieve 100 percent 3G coverage across the country by the end of this year.

Long Term Evolution refers to the generation of network technology. The third generation network, known as 3G, is the oldest technology of the group. 4G is the fourth generation data network

Announcing the developments at the company's Msasa head office in Harare yesterday, Econet Chief Executive Officer Douglas Mboweni said the upgrade exercise had already started.

"The upgrade started in March this year, at the beginning of our new financial year, and should be completed by the end of this calendar year", said Mr Mboweni.

"We are essentially ensuring that each and everyone of our existing 2G sites countrywide – in towns and in rural areas – are upgraded to 3G sites" he said, adding that the upgrade had already begun in parts of the country.

"Matabeleland, Bulawayo and Harare provinces are now already complete, with all sites in these provinces on 3G as we speak," he said "We are pleased to let our customers know that in the coming few months, accessing our Smart Data Network from anywhere in the country will be so much easier, particularly in the rural and farming communities" said Mr Mboweni.

Econet Wireless has the widest geographical mobile network coverage in Zimbabwe, covering 82 percent of the population. The latest data from the industry regulator POTRAZ (Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe) shows that Econet has a total of 4.092 base stations (or 52.2 percent share of total mobile infrastructure), in comparison to industry peers NetOne, which has a total of 2.691 (or 34.5 percent), and Telecel, with 1.025(13.2 percent) base stations.

The company leads the country's three mobile network operators (MNOs) in data network coverage, with more coverage than the other two MNOs put together. It has 1.192 3G base stations (51.2 percent), compared to NetOne's 771 3G base stations (33.1 percent) and Telecel's 364 3G base stations (15.6 percent).

Econet, which reported 10,2 million connected customers at the end of February 2017, also leads in LTE (or 4G) network coverage, with 499 LTE sites (63.7 percent) to NetOne's 284 LTE sites (36.3 percent). It supports 269.000 LTE customers on its LTE infrastructure, compared with NetOne, which supported 2,165 LTE customers as at the end of March 2017.

According to the POTRAZ report, Telecel has not yet deployed LTE technology. The MNO was recently acquired by the government. Confirming the Econet upgrade, MrKezitoMakuni, the company's Technical Director, said the upgrade exercise would see Econet cover most of the country's population with 3G technology.

"Upon completion, we will have covered close to 82 percent of the population with fast and reliable 3G and LTE coverage" said MrMakuni. "Our customers will be able to enjoy our data products and services at much faster access and browsing speeds wherever they are and wherever they go in Zimbabwe," he said.

A 3G (or Third Generation) data network is the typical mobile broadband network with Internet download speeds of up to 100 times that of a 2G data network (GPRS or EDGE network), and it works best on smartphones.

"With most populated areas covered, going forward we will be focusing on the customer experience of our subscribers, ensuring that they get impeccable quality of service wherever they are", said Mr Makuni.

Econet has invested over $1.3 billion in the Zimbabwean economy since 2009.It has created over 20.000 jobs directly and indirectly, through resellers and distributors of its wide variety of products and services, that include, among others, voice products, data services and EcoCash – the popular mobile money transfer service.

- the herald


You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

Mugabe's legacy: A case of inherited oppression

by Patson Dzamara | 22 July 2017 | 61 Views

Family of 4 escape death by a whisker

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 92 Views

Lupane underdevelopment irks Zanu-PF youths

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 59 Views

WATCH: A message from the diaspora

by Staff Reporter | 22 July 2017 | 54 Views

Lost crops: Food for thought for Zimbabwe

by Praxedis Dube1, Rico Ihle1, Wim Heijman1 and Paul Struik2 | 22 July 2017 | 60 Views

Grace Mugabe turns 52 tomorrow

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 56 Views

Mliswa must Go! - Norton residents in demo

by Agencies | 22 July 2017 | 64 Views

'Zanu-PF fears Tsvangirai,' says MDC-T official

by Stephen Jakes | 22 July 2017 | 116 Views

Grace Mugabe declares Zanu-PF win in Matabeleland North

by Staff Reporter | 22 July 2017 | 96 Views

Tsvangirai set to meet party structures in Harare

by Staff Reporter | 22 July 2017 | 69 Views

Of artists fostering & protecting tyrants

by Tshaka Mgazo Ndlovu | 22 July 2017 | 66 Views

Mother's frantic search for missing son

by Philimon Bhogana Dube | 22 July 2017 | 73 Views

Messenger of court storms funeral

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 74 Views

Mugabe wades into the Marange chieftainship wrangle

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 62 Views

Grace Mugabe mine wrangle turns ugly

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 70 Views

Mugabe challenges Zanu-PF chefs

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 55 Views

Villagers to pay $10 for Heroes Day commemorations

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 56 Views

'She attacked me with a pot'

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 59 Views

'Mat North a Zanu-PF stronghold,' claims Grace Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 53 Views

12 of 14-gang serial armed robbers convicted

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 62 Views

POSA to stay

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 63 Views

Bhasikiti challenges Mutasa to come clean on Mugabe meeting

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 65 Views

Mugabe lashes out at individuals who abuse cyber space

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 53 Views

Police approve Mthwakazi rallies

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 37 Views

Couple's only 2 kids drown in dam

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 49 Views

Jomo Sono invites Bosso to anti-Xenophobia Cup tourney

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 71 Views

ZBCtv to broadcast live Bulawayo concert

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 56 Views

Bosso founding player dies

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 86 Views

Tsvangirai warns against imposition of candidates

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 38 Views

Chombo's arrest bid flops

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 28 Views

Mugabe admits the existence of Zanu-PF militia groups

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2017 | 60 Views

WATCH: 'Dirty dancing' in Mashonaland Central

by Simbarashe Sithole | 22 July 2017 | 108 Views