Zimbabwean operator, Econet Wireless has formally launched its 3G network. The 3G service is initially be available in Harare, and is being extended to all the country's major cities by the end of the year. Douglas Mboweni, Econet CEO said for business users, the most important application "will not only be what you can do with your cellphone but what you can now do with your computer or laptop".
"A computer can be linked directly to the 3G network using a data card, which will be available at Econet service centres," he said. This eliminates the need for a dial-up line or expensive satellite dishes. The bandwidth speeds on the 3G system as well as the capacity is unprecedented, according to Mboweni. He said the mobile operator has installed an earth station just to uplink the 3G system.
The operator recently started receiving shipments of equipment worth US$200 million from Ericsson and ZTE which, when installed, will avert the shortages of lines in the country. The network aims to double its network capacity to 5 million lines when the upgrade is completed.
After years of economic stagnation, all the three of Zimbabwe's mobile operators - Econet, Net One and Telecel - have announced massive roll out programmes to increase subscriber base.