Econet delivers home solar power station

By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe

Econet Wireless is launching its ‘Home Power Station’, a solar powered device for charging cellphones while providing lighting, in Zimbabwe.

Econet subsidiary, Econet Solar, said its device uses a solar panel to power a battery which provides power for four bulbs and a cellphone charger. It is expected to be a boon for much of Zimbabwe’s populace, which has no access to electricity or endures power cuts and often goes for weeks without energy.

“It’s a truly remarkable product and will change the lives of millions of people who have no access to electricity,” Econet Solar chief executive Luc Tanoh said.

He said the product was produced by the mobile operator’s engineers in South Africa and that Zimbabwe would be the first commercial site for the device.

Econet has been conducting trials of the device in SA’s KwaZulu-Natal province and has began work on fields trials. More trials will be conducted in Zimbabwe before the launch of the commercial service, Tanoh said.

“We are now ready for commercial field trials with selected customers in Zimbabwe, which is our first commercial site,” he said.

He said his company plans to launch the product throughout Africa and also licence other mobile network operators to use its technology.

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