Econet launches 5G, targets 22 base stations by end of April

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has launched 5G technology, becoming the first operator in Africa to do so as the telecommunications media and technology pushes for a digital economy.


The launch of the high-speed 5G mobile broadband technology was done in Harare Monday and in partnership with global technology infrastructure suppliers Ericson and ZTE.

Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni said the innovation was an important milestone for the company, as it was key to achieving a fully digital economy.

“The 5G technology will transform the way we all live and work, offering customers significantly greater network capacity, ultra-low latency and super-fast broadband speeds that open vast possibilities for our individual, business and enterprise customers,” he said.

“Therefore we call upon our enablers, the regulators and policy makers to enable us so that children in rural areas will also benefit from this 5G innovation, rural communities must also benefit.”

The initial 5G service would be rolled out for individual and enterprise customers in Harare with 22 base stations set to be installed countrywide by end of April 2022, according to Econet’s chief technical officer Edwin Banda.

“We are proud to be one of the first to launch 5G technology in Africa. 5G network is going to bridge the gap between the rural and urban population in the country. It’s also going to be key in economic development. By end of April 2022 we will have 22 base stations enough to cover the country with 5G network,” he said.

The new technology is going to facilitate smart agriculture, e-health with consumers set to enjoy the most, according to POTRAZ director general Gift Machengete.

The advantage that comes with 5G network are increased speed as it is 100 times faster than 4G to the extent that it takes 3.6 seconds to download a 700mb movie while on 4G it takes 6 minutes.

With 5G, there is also reduced latency, that is, the response time for a network to take action.


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