Econet to upgrade 500 base stations, extend coverage to 300 new sites

Econet to upgrade 500 base stations, extend coverage to 300 new sites

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country's largest mobile network operator, has announced plans to upgrade 500 of its base stations and deploy an additional 300 new base stations across the country over the course of this year.

The company says the move is part of its ongoing efforts to improve network quality and capacity, and to provide better services to its customers.

Econet's Chief Operating Officer, Kezito Makuni, said the upgrades will involve the deployment of new base stations to expand coverage, as well as the upgrading of existing infrastructure with the latest technologies, to enhance network performance and increase data throughputs and speed.

Addressing customers at a prize-giving ceremony for winners of a recent promotion in Harare last week, Makuni said the new investment will also be more energy-efficient, helping to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment.

“By the close of the current financial year, we will have upgraded over 500 base stations, and added over 300 new sites across the country,” he said.

“The network upgrade and expansion provides us with the opportunity to leverage on emerging new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

“These transformative technologies have the potential to change our day to day lives, business processes, optimize resource allocation and create innovative solutions. However, they heavily rely on strong and capable network infrastructure to function optimally,” he said.

Makuni noted that the upgrades will be carried out in phases and will cover both urban and rural areas. He added that the Econet was committed to investing in its network infrastructure and leverage the latest technologies to ensure that customers have access to fast, reliable and affordable services.

The latest investment comes after Econet recently upgraded over 200 base stations in the year. It also comes at a time the telecommunications industry is experiencing widespread network challenges due to power shortages leading to excessive loadshedding, low investment caused by foreign currency scarcity, and non-cost reflective tariffs, along with increased cases of vandalism.

Makuni said the Econet network upgrade is expected to have a significant impact on the quality the network, and the services it provides. “Following this investment, customers should experience faster data speeds, better call quality and overall improved coverage, particularly in areas that were previously underserved,” he said.

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