Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Friday officially launched its ultra-fast 5G network in Victoria Falls, as the ZSE-listed telecommunications company expands its roll-out of the latest data network to other cities and towns across Zimbabwe.
Mr Edwin Banda, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe’s chief technology officer said the deployment of 5G would support Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy 1 road map which, among other things, envisages an inclusive digital economy. Speaking at the launch event, he said:
We are making good on our commitment to take this super-fast technology to other parts of the country as we deploy the infrastructure that will accelerate the country’s attainment of a full digital economy.
We believe the deployment of 5G here and across the country will offer infinite possibilities for individual, business and industrial users, and will be a catalyst for economic growth and development in Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls mayor, Councillor Somvelo Dhlamini, business leaders in tourism, Econet executives and channel partners were also in attendance.
Acting Hwange Colliery Company managing director, Mr Blake Mhatiwa, who was the guest of honour, urged Econet to fast-track deployment of 5G networks in mining towns and settlements in Zimbabwe. He also said:
I believe new technologies such as 5G, which can deliver the high-speed connectivity to support a wide range of new applications, including machine automation, will help us to reach this important milestone.
His remarks come when the mining industry faces some complex challenges ranging from uncertainty across the geopolitical landscape to the disruption of vital global supply chains.
ZTE, the global telecommunications infrastructure and technology supplier, are partners with Econet in rolling out 5G in Zimbabwe.
Econet first launched the 5G in Harare in February, in partnership with Ericsson, before deploying the technology in Bulawayo in April. The company then committed to rolling out the technology to other cities and towns.
Econet’s chief sales officer Mrs Ivy Sithole said 5G, which is up to 20 times faster than 4G, will unlock the full capabilities of next-generation broadband services such as virtual and augmented reality, ultra-high-definition video streaming, artificial intelligence, robotics, automated cars, and the Internet of Things (IoT).