Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has launched an initiative to provide mobile Internet access to every one of its customers and will be issuing free email addresses based on their mobile numbers.
The diversified telecoms company, whose subscription base now exceeds 5 million, is rolling out the programme under Phase II of its broadband service expansion programme.
The scheme, considered a world first, will allow an Econet broadband customer to use a cellphone number as an email address.
“If you know a person’s number, you will be able to use that number to call them, send an SMS, or send an email. It is that simple,” said Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni said.
The second data service expansion programme could make Zimbabwe the most digitally connected in Africa, as Econet currently covers about a third of the country’s population estimated at 12,4 million.
Under the first phase, launched in September, nearly 4% of the population took up service in less than six weeks.