Econet Wireless Zimbabwe have said that they need more than US$60 million to upgrade their system equipment and convert all its sites to solar power.
The expected migration to solar energy comes at a time when the country has a huge power deficit which has forced businesses to look for other alternatives including the use of generators. Posting on their Twitter handle on Tuesday, Econet said:
We require over US$60 million to upgrade equipment and convert our sites to solar.
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The telecoms giant is also finding the use of generators as a substitute for electricity unsustainable. The shortage and cost of fuel in the country has resulted in increased operational costs for businesses.
Power outages recently caused Econet services to go down thereby affecting its network operations centre in Harare. For the good part of the day, irregular services on voice, data, SMS and Ecocash platforms were experienced. Econet then revealed that they had limited fuel for their generators. In a statement, Econet said:
1 300 of our base stations run on generators for over 18 hours a day and consume 2 million litres of fuel every month. We only receive 25 percent of this fuel due to the current shortages.
These adverse impacts of power cuts are not peculiar to Econet. Recently, OK Zimbabwe closed a shop in Rusape due to Load-shedding while a Chinese tile making company operating in Norton has revealed that it is set to lose US$1.2 million due to power cuts.
More: The Herald