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Econet extends its rural network coverage

09 January 2024

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has extended its rural geographical network coverage by rolling out 10 new base stations in previously underserved and unconnected rural areas in districts across the country.

Econet, the country’s largest telecommunications and technology company, put up the base stations in Karimbika, in Uzumba Maramba-Pfungwedistrict; Chitsungo near Mana Pools; Nyamuseve in Guruve; Zvipani in Magunje; Fair Adventure in Wedza; Avila Mission in Kazozo, Nyanga district; Chikwarakwara in Beitbridge; Gezani in Chiredzi; Muchekwawakasungabeta in Chakari, Kadoma; and at Nswazi in Plumtree.

The rural base stations were commissioned late last year under the Universal Services Fund (USF) presided over by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

Speaking at the commissioning of one of the base stations in Karimbika, situated in Ward 11 of Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe District in MashonalandEast, ICT Minister Hon Tatenda Mavetera said the deployment of base stations in remote areas will result in a robust digital economy that can create numerous economic benefits, including job creation.

“Increased access to long-term evolution technology can have far-reaching benefits for the masses. It enables seamless connectivity across various sectors, including education, healthcare, agriculture, e-commerce and finance, among others,” Minister Mavetera said.

She noted that improved connectivity enables access to online educational resources, e-learning platforms, virtual classrooms and remote learning opportunities.

“Students can now have access to up-to-date information from around the world which enhances their learning experiences,” the Hon Minister added.

An Econet company spokesman said the firm was “delighted to be playing its part in providing telecommunication services in remote areas and closing the digital divide by connecting previously marginalised areas”.

A recent telecommunications industry report released by Potraz in late December 2023 showed that Econet had increased its investment in network infrastructure in the third quarter of 2023, extending its total share of the mobile base stations market to 54%.

Potraz’s 2023 Sector Performance Report showed that Econet had now rolled out over 5,700 base stations across the country, out of an industry total of 10,598 base stations.