Econet to continue expansion

5 Jul 2006

Zimbabwe’s largest cellco Econet Wireless says that it will expand its network capacity ‘in line with rising demand for its products and services’, despite the economic problems in the country, where inflation has skyrocketed. Company chairman Tawanda Nyambirai said that the expansion will include installing additional network equipment including base stations across the country. Econet invested more than ZWD920 billion (USD9 million at current exchange rate) in the twelve months to the end of February 2006, expanding network capacity to 500,000 customers. Nyambirai said: ‘Acquisition and development work continues on a number of sites in anticipation of the next phase of the network upgrade. The business has adopted an infrastructure development strategy to secure all local currency based materials and civil works so as to minimise project cost escalations and delays associated with the erratic foreign currency market.’ Nyambirai added that Econet had commissioned 42 new base stations in the last year, upgraded a number of existing sites, and invested in additional generators and other back-up power devices to reduce the impact of frequent scheduled and unscheduled power outages experienced in Zimbabwe. Econet had around 470,000 subscribers at the end of March 2006, up from 412,000 at the start of the year.