Telecel joins 3G revolution in Zimbabwe

Telecel, Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator by subscriber base, acquired a 3G frequency to speed the network’s connectivity, writes Zim publication The Standard. Telecel is the second operator to embrace 3G technology, after Econet which launched its 3G platform last year. The frequencies were allocated by The Postal andTelecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.

According to Telecel CEO, Aimable Mpore, who just replaced Rex Chibesa as the head of the company, the operator plans to introduce GPRS technology and 3G services such as wide-area wireless voice telephone, video calls, and wireless data at higher speed.

“The 3G network is in the initial stage of testing, we got the frequencies from the regulator last week”, Mpore said.

He expects to double Telecel’s subscriber base to 1,2 million by the end of the year, following 3G introduction. Currently, Telecel can support a capacity of 2 million users.

Telecel is part of the Orascom Telecom/Telecel group that has operations in Africa and the Middle East. Telecel International owns 60% of the company, while Empowerment Corporation of Zimbabwe, a consortium of local Zimbabwean investors, owns the rest 40%.

Telecel International is 100% owned by Egyptian conglomerate Orascom Telecom. The group offers installation, designing and implementing of emerging telecommunications technologies in developing countries.

In other related news Broadland Networks to invest US100 Million in Zimbabwe to set up a 4G based wireless network in Zimbabwe, however, the technology platform is not specified which might be WiMAX. US$30 million has already been invested by company to build its network in Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru, with nationwide coverage expected by the middle of this year. Besides, the operator has also invested in its own fibre base network for backhauling traffic.

The aim of the network is to have a capacity for 10 million subscribers when fully completed. (Wireless Federation)

Mungwadzi Godwin

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