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Econet invests in alternative energy

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Econet Wireless, the country’s largest telecommunications company, on Thursday night launched a “green” campaign that will see the company investing in alternative energies, raising environmental awareness and alleviating the crippling impact of worsening power cuts.

Econet Energy will see the telecommunications company expanding its investment in renewable energy to reduce its reliance on unreliable traditional power sources.

Speaking at the occasion, Econet chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni said: “It is not always possible to have generators at every site and to run them for extended periods of time.

“As a result, outages have caused great inconvenience to customers. But we are not folding our hands and retreating. We have a responsibility to our customers, and what we are doing is investing more in a future of alternative, less expensive but more eco-friendly energy.”

The company said power cuts remained the biggest cause of poor network performance as the loss of power to a base station had a chain reaction across the network, resulting in customers facing connection failures and a drop in calls.

Mboweni said at the peak of power outages, 70% of Econet’s base stations will be powered by generators.

He said these initiatives would gradually reduce dependence on erratic power supply and also on diesel back-up power, which comes at a huge financial cost to Econet.

“It is time we fundamentally changed our traditional view of energy,” Mboweni said. Econet’s investment in alternative energies will see more solar-powered base stations built, while its shops will sell a range of new eco-friendly products.

Among the new products unveiled by the company were solar-powered lamps that were expected to prove popular as they would work during power cuts. Also in stock is a range of solar-powered handsets and chargers.

“These products are meant to make life easier for our customers and are a testament to our commitment to invest in a green future,” Mboweni said.

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