Telecel Zimbabwe has announced plans to invest USD70 million this year to expand and upgrade its GSM and fledgling 3G mobile networks, including a fibre-optic backbone infrastructure project. Telecel intends to roll out 300 new base stations in total and to enhance its 3G coverage and capacity in all main cities of Zimbabwe, it said. Last year it deployed 127 new 2G and 3G base stations. The company also announced that it will be upgrading switching capacity to cope with an expected rise in subscribers from the 1.24 million it reported in September 2011 to more than 2.5 million by the end of 2012. This week the Zimbabwean regulator POTRAZ reported that Telecel’s user base had surpassed 1.8 million at the end of 2011, although the watchdog’s figures have tended to differ from those reported by the cellco, which indicated that it currently has roughly 1.5 million active customers.