Econet expands network

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s largest telecommunications company, Econet Wireless, has invested in network equipment as part of its expansion drive to reach its capacity to 10 million subscribers.

Econet said shipment of the equipment, which began in the last few days, was expected to continue well into next year.

“The new expansion drive by Econet is also expected to see its investment in Zimbabwe exceed $1 billion, the largest ever in the country’s history,” said Econet in a statement.

It follows the approval by the Econet board to “mop up” the remaining demand for lines in the Zimbabwe market.

“The equipment is being supplied by Ericsson of Sweden and a Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE.
“Econet has also stepped up its efforts to diversify its activities into new business areas that depend on its network,” added Econet.

By far the largest investment effort is in EcoCash, its mobile banking platform.

”Econet is developing EcoCash to address the acute shortage of cash in the economy by making it easier to buy and sell goods without the need for cash,” said the telecommunications giant.

Another major new business area is the provision of solar-powered lighting which depends on the cell phone network.

Econet said: “A new service, called the Home Power Station, has gone into full pre-commercial trials in Zimbabwe for the first time.”

The communications company said the product was expected to light up many homes in the rural areas by Christmas.

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