Econet network expansion pays dividends

Business Reporter

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, says its massive investment in network connectivity is adding value to the economy as more businesses and individual communities embrace online operations.  

The wide Econet data network has come in handy in keeping businesses and communities going despite the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, which have frustrated traditional manual operations, said the company.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent national lockdowns have underlined the importance of reliable data services in keeping people, communities, businesses and the nation at large connected, and in ensuring essential commercial and public services continue unhindered,” said the Econet group in a media update.

“Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest mobile network operator, has over the past two decades invested billions of dollars in network coverage and new technology infrastructure, including LTE or 4G, positioning it to offer faster and more reliable mobile data services across the country.”

Since March last year, the country has been under lockdown mode as authorities seek to arrest the spread of the deadly pandemic. Zimbabwe has seen record cumulative Covid-19 cases clocking about 35 172, with 30 601 recoveries and 1 400 deaths as of 14 February 2021.

The travel restrictions and restricted business operations have crippled trading volumes and to a larger extent frustrated productive value-chains locally and globally. This has driven a spike in data usage with the recent sector performance report released by industry regulator, Potraz at the end of last year, showing that mobile Internet and data traffic grew by 43 percent across the country, from 10 407tb recorded in the second quarter, to 14 878tb in the third quarter of 2020.

The report says Econet’s share of the Internet and data traffic market surged to nearly 70 percent in the same period. Econet says its mobile broadband is used by different customers across the country to conduct activities such as online lessons, research and connecting with friends and family.

“We are proud to play our part in driving digital transformation across our country and in helping people, communities and businesses stay connected and be able to do business in these trying times,” an Econet spokesman said.

“We are also aware that in a few areas where demand has exceeded supply, some of our customers may now be experiencing intermittent connectivity issues during peak periods. But we are working flat out with our vendors and partners to optimise the network in such areas.”

Econet Wireless is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and boasts nearly 12 million connected customers. The company has recently also stepped up the automation of its businesses processes and customer support channels.

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