Econet Wireless Zimbabwe last week upgraded its base stations at Kutama, 80 km southwest of Harare, and at Murombedzi, about 110km west of the capital, to high-speed LTE/4G as part of a marathon rollout programme recently announced by the company to upgrade and install at least 130 new base stations in 90 days.
The listed mobile telecommunications company, which enjoys nearly 70% market share of high-speed LTE infrastructure in the country, is on an ambitious drive to upgrade its existing sites to 4G as well as installing the faster technology base stations at new sites across the country to widen its national coverage.
Econet Chief Operating Officer Kezito Makuni said the network infrastructure upgrade at Kutama and Murombedzi will help the company increase coverage in the area and improve quality of access to services such as e-learning for underserved communities.
“We have witnessed an increased demand for data and connectivity across the country, which was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a shift in education and learning methods, social engagements as well as how organizations conduct business and commerce,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by Clemence Kawadza, the company’s regional general manager for Mashonaland West.
“As a leading digital communications service provider, we are excited to be the proud enablers of this transformational change designed to improve lives and livelihoods, and to facilitate business and commerce,” he added.
Zvimba Rural District Council chief executive, Enias Chidakwa, who was guest of honour at the event, said the investment by Econet would go a long way in reducing the digital divide between urban and rural areas.
“I am happy to say that the investment and solutions that Econet has provided will not only uplift our area economically, through the facilitation of business transactions with individuals and other businesses, but will also put thousands of people living in Zvimba on the world map, as we are guaranteed fast, efficient and reliable network services,” he said.
He added that by upgrading its base stations in the area, Econet will help Zimbabweans enjoy the full benefits of digital technologies.
“We are hopeful that this investment will unlock our rural communities to accelerated social and economic development,” he said.