Zimbabwean state-owned cellco NetOne is looking to deploy more than 260 new base stations under the third phase of its mobile broadband expansion project, with a focus on rural areas. A report from The Herald quotes Deputy ICT Minister Dingumuzi Phuti as saying that NetOne had already upgraded 75 base stations from 2G to 3G and a further 60 to 4G. The government has also revealed that the operator is expecting to install the country’s first 5G equipment as part of its network expansion. The project is expected to increase the operator’s population coverage from about 75% to 85%, though a completion date has not been given.
It was announced in February this year that NetOne was working with Huawei on the USD71 million rollout, which is described as a ‘strategic cooperation between China and Zimbabwe’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, NetOne is the second largest of Zimbabwe’s three mobile network operators (MNOs), with around 3.75 million subscribers and a 29% share of the market at the end of June 2021.