Zimbabwe to Get Mobile WiMAX Network

March 30, 2010 – Ecoweb, Zimbabwe’s largest internet access and service provider, is poised to deploy the country’s first mobile WiMax network.

March 30, 2010 – Ecoweb, Zimbabwe’s largest internet access and service provider, is poised to deploy the country’s first mobile WiMax network.

Ecoweb is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest telecoms company.

‘The vision of our ICT Ministry is the provision of Internet access to all the citizens of Zimbabwe. This ties in well with Ecoweb?s vision of being the leading provider of total and innovative Internet communication solutions in Zimbabwe. To this end Ecoweb is proud to announce that it will be launching fourth generation Mobile WiMAX Technology,’ said Ecoweb General Manager, Mr Tororiro Isaac Chaza.

Ecoweb is already offering broadband data services to corporates and individuals through fixed WiMAX, an IEEE 806.16d standard wireless access technology. This is in addition to Ecoweb’s other modern technology solutions such as optic fibre and VSAT satellite.

The deployment of Mobile WiMAX will take place in two phases. In the initial phase, a total investment of 100 WiMAX base stations will be deployed across the country, targeting our main business centres. All the network elements are in place and testing and network optimisation is currently in progress. Deployment of the service is envisaged to begin April 2010.

Mobile WiMax represents an evolution into the fourth generation stable of access technologies capable of delivering high speed Internet access. The new state-of-the-art access technology, termed mobile WiMax (IEEE 806.16e standard) is capable of delivering quadrupleplay services ? that is voice, data and wireless mobility on one subscription on an all IP (Internet Protocol) network.

WiMax will have a fundamental and positive impact in the provision of telecoms solutions to the country’s business sector and also to social services. A WiMax network puts Zimbabwe at par with first-world countries in terms of telecoms infrastructure.

Mr Chaza said: ‘The Mobile WiMAX network will be capable of carrying mobile, nomadic and fixed services ranging from individual netbooks to large corporate networks. The technology is also suitable for use as backhaul for mobile networks.’

Deployment of WiMAX countrywide will provide a high-speed mobile Internet access platform. This means users can be able to access the internet using mobile accessories such as laptops, netbooks, smartphones, gaming devices, cameras, camcorders, music players and many more.

WiMAX will complement Econet’s already existing 3G/EDGE/GPRS services. With this launch, the Econet group will now be able to provide seamless data services tailored to the customer’s needs, from top-end large corporate use to the mass market.

‘Demand for data services is enormous and will continue to grow. Going forward, existing customers will demand more and more bandwidth as more data intensive services are introduced, while new customers will continue to sign up for data services,’ Mr Chaza said.

As such, Econet’s adaptation of complementary wireless access technologies positions it for maintaining pole position in terms of innovation, service delivery and techno-confidence.

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