“Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla Inc. to help them pay their bills”
A report in Bloomberg is suggesting that telecommunications companies in Zimbabwe have resorted to buying electricity rechargeable Tesla Batteries in America to run their network. Electricity has been a problem in Zimbabwe since May 2019 and MNO among other companies are hit the hardest by the crisis as their boosters need constant power to supply network to surrounding areas or to other downstream boosters.
Econet was identified by the Bloomberg as the first MNO to engage a company called Distributed Power Africa to Install Tesla Powerwall batteries at their boosters. Econet has a total of 1300 boosters countrywide. The Tesla Powerwall batteries reportedly cost $6500 each and they can power a booster up to 10 hours a day. they were mostly meant to act as a backup in the event of solar panels failing to power boosters for various reasons.
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Econet reportedly bought 520 Lithium-Ion Battery batteries from distributors. The CEO of Distributed Power Africa was qouted by the publication saying:
Telecommunications have become the lifeblood of the economy, If the telecom network is down in Zimbabwe, you can’t do any transactions
Econet cannot afford to shut down the network as 90% of transactions are electronic in Zimbabwe. A big percentage of total settlements per day relies on mobile money payments.