Econet gets the builders in

4 May 2007

Zimbabwe’s largest cellco by subscribers Econet Wireless has signed two contracts with Ericsson of Sweden and ZTE Corporation of China to supply equipment for the expansion of its network capacity from 800,000 users to 1.2 million by the end of 2007. The project will be the second of its type in less than a year, after its USD20 million network expansion to increase capacity from 500,000 to 800,000, which has just been completed. Ericsson, which has supplied the bulk of all equipment on the Econet network since the company launched operations in July 1998, will supply equipment for the expansion of its core network as well as base stations to be set up in the northern part of the country and the capital, Harare. The Swedish vendor will supply switches, Intelligent Network Platforms, pre-paid systems, as well as new base stations in Harare, Mashonaland and Manicaland provinces. ZTE has been awarded the contract to expand the GSM network in the southern part of the country where it will install new base stations and extend coverage to the two Matabeleland provinces, Masvingo and the Midlands. Econet said it had over 634,000 active subscribers at the end of February 2007.