Zimbabwe's Powertel Communications, a unit of Zesa Holdings, is set to roll out a CDMA-based wireless in the local loop (WiLL) network in the country's second largest city Bulawayo before the end of the year, reports local news source Sunday Mail Business.
CDMA services are currently only available to customers of incumbent PSTN operator TelOne in the capital Harare and surrounding areas. The Sunday Mail learned that Powertel has already sourced two base stations that will form the basis for the initial network in Bulawayo.
The firm has a strategic partnership with Chinese telecoms equipment provider ZTE Corp, and in 2005 the pair signed a USD35 million deal to support Powertel's national fibre network rollout programme. CDMA facilities in Bulawayo will partly be aimed at offering reliable services to businesses, after suffering problems caused by vandalism and theft of TelOne's equipment.