ECONET Wireless has marked the joint hosting by the country and Zambia of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) general assembly by launching one of Africa’s first Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.
The company, Zimbabwe’s largest mobile company by earnings and subscribers, said the LTE will be launched in the resort town of Victoria Falls, where the assembly will be held from August 24 to 29.
The new technology, which is still not available in most European and Asian countries, is also known as “4G” and allows the fastest mobile Internet speeds possible on a cell phone.
Commenting on the launch of the service, Econet Wireless CEO Douglas Mboweni said the hosting of the tourism event was an opportunity to show the world that Zimbabwe “is not dead and buried; we are very much alive, and we have kept pace with developments in the world.”
Mboweni said that his group of companies, which includes sister companies Liquid Telecom and ZOL, have invested heavily in ensuring that telecommunications services in Victoria Falls are world class.
Meanwhile, Mboweni has said that work is already underway to launch 4G in the country’s major cities.
“The business community in Zimbabwe uses our network almost exclusively, and we have a duty to ensure that they have the most advanced services available,” said Mboweni.
Econet Wireless was one of the first operators in Africa to launch 3G well before countries like India and Nigeria.
As a result, Zimbabwe was recently declared by the GSMA to be the country with the highest percentage of Internet access by cell phone in the world, at just over 58 percent of all Internet users in the country.
Meanwhile, Liquid Telecom has also become the first telecoms firm to deploy a cross border cutting edge transmission technology called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) in Zimbabwe.
DWDM is the latest technology for transporting extremely large amounts of data traffic over metro or long distances in Telecom networks. Liquid Telecom has deployed DWDM technology in trunk and ring topologies that pass through Harare, Gweru, Bulawayo, Beitbridge, and Masvingo then back to Harare.
Wellington Makamure, Managing Director Liquid Telecom on Tuesday said: “This gives both the Zimbabwean and Zambian market high capacity access to the undersea cables that links Southern Africa to the rest of the world.Advertisement
“The high speed technology goes across the borders into South Africa through Johannesburg to link two Data Centres (Teraco and Neotel). These two data centres are in turn linked to 5 undersea cables namely SEACOM, WACS, EASSY, SAT 3 and TEAMS”.
The development comes at a time when bandwidth requirements are increasing for both home and business use in the country and Liquid Telecom says it is ready to handle huge increase.
The company said, for the home market, video streaming, Skype calls exchange of multimedia files, software downloads will run more efficiently on the Liquid Telecom Network. Home users communication with friends and relatives in the Diaspora will also be real time and becomes very effective.