Econet Wireless eyes 5G

27 June 2014 |


The CEO of Zimbabwe’s Econet Wireless told reporters that it has begun its nationwide 4G expansion and is already eyeing 5G technologies.

Douglas Mboweni said that the 4G expansion is designed to increase data transmission speeds and call connectivity in the country.

We launched 4G around the time of the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) conference held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe,” Mboweni told local reporters. “Right now, the issue we are looking at is expanding it to other areas.”

Econet’s existing LTE network covers parts of Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, and had an estimated 20,000 subscribers by the end of March 2014.

Despite admitting that there is still work to be done to perfect 3G, Mboweni said that Econet will “forge ahead exploring new technologies such as 5G, to ensure customers continue to enjoy high speed”.

“The reason I mentioned 5G is that some other countries such as South Korea are already experimenting with this and, as Africa, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but we learn what is being applied elsewhere,” Mboweni added.

No international 5G development projects have been officially launched and some analysts have suggested that a new generation of 5G standards could be introduced in the early 2020s.