Econet fast tracks expansion
TELECOMSBy BiztechAfrica - Sept. 7, 2012, 3:15 p.m.
Econet Wireless has received large shipments of network equipment as part of its push to expand its capacity to 10-million.
The new expansion drive by Econet is also expected to see its investment in Zimbabwe exceed USD1 billion, the largest ever in the country's history.
It follows the approval by the Econet board to "mop up" the remaining demand for lines in the Zimbabwe market.
Econet said shipment of the equipment, which began in the last few days, was expected to continue well into next year.
The equipment is being supplied by Ericsson of Sweden and the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE.
Econet has also stepped up its efforts to diversify its activities into new business areas that depend on its network. By far the largest investment effort is in EcoCash, its mobile banking platform.
Econet is developing EcoCash to address the acute shortage of cash in the economy by making it easier to buy and sell goods without the need for cash.
Another major new business area is the provision of solar powered lighting which depends on the cell phone network. A new service, called the HomePowerStation, has gone into full pre-commercial trials in Zimbabwe for the first time.
Econet said this product was expected to light up many homes in the rural areas by Christmas.
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