Econet Wireless Global (EWG), which owns Zimbabwe's largest telecommunications company, and Sweden's Ericsson have signed a deal to expand Econet's network in Zimbabwe, the two firms said on Thursday.
EWG subsidiary, mobile phone operator Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, has over 1.2 million subscribers in the country and plans to expand its network to increase that number to 5 million by the end of 2010.
Econet says it will launch Zimbabwe's first 3G service in August.
Ericsson, a leading provider of telecommunications technology, said in a joint statement with EWG the new three-year upgrade and expansion agreement would increase capacity for voice and data traffic in Zimbabwe.
Like most Zimbabwean businesses, telecommunications firms suffered under years of hyperinflation, a skewed exchange rate and economic collapse, which stunted growth of the sector.
However, renewed optimism brought by a unity government formed by rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, coupled with some economic reforms, has brought some signs of recovery.
"Business opportunities exist in a vast number of sectors in Zimbabwe, including information technology and this type of recapitalisation and expansion is just what the country needs to rebuild and develop," Lars Linden, president of Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, said in the statement.