Econet set to commission 200 base stations, new fibre backbone

18 Jan 2010

Zimbabwe’s largest cellco by subscribers, Econet Wireless, is set to commission 200 base stations constructed under its USD300 million network expansion programme. The operator’s CEO, Douglas Mboweni, said: ‘We have built over 400 base stations, of which 200 will come on line in the next six weeks alone [whilst] by March Econet will begin to commission its fibre-optic [backbone] system in the major cities. This will completely eliminate one of the major causes of congestion on [the] network, and also upgrade the provision of data services, including 3G.’ said Mboweni. He added: ‘The current 3G system is small and limited to the Harare area. By March, it will be fully national, and vastly improved in terms of capacity and speed. We will have a world class 3G system by the time we get to June.’ Mboweni also said that ‘We are sitting on a pre-paid system capacity of 5.1 million [users], and we are carrying just three million subscribers at present.’