‘Telecel 3G service before year end’

TELECEL Zimbabwe, the country’s second largest mobile phone operator by subscribers, will launch its 3G network by year end, CEO Aimable Mpore says.

Mpore says his company will soon launch its 3G technology, a few months after the country’s largest mobile phone operator –– Econet –– launched the same service.

He said: “The sea cable is coming to Zimbabwe, there is nothing which is going to stop it and we are going to get it.”
He, however, could not be drawn into revealing how much his company had spent on the project but he said Telecel’s 3G would be “better than the competition”.

Telecel Zimbabwe chief commercial officer Anwar Soussa says Telecel is already working on a billing system that would see customers getting real value for their money since the charges will only be for the data received and nothing else to ensure that customers get affordable rates.

Soussa said:  “Our current expectation is that Telecel will launch its 3G service commercially before the end of this year. However, this will depend on the availability by then of its proposed link to a sea cable.”

The mobile phone operator had hoped to launch in May this year, but failed to access the under sea cable.

“The major reason Telecel was unable to meet its initial expectations with regard to the timing of the launch of its 3G service has been the difficulty in accessing a sea cable. Other factors include delays in completing a reliable transmission backbone and the need to put in place customer support systems and a billing system that will facilitate affordable access by our customers to data services,” Soussa said.

The company believes it will now access a submarine link cable and access more bandwidth.

The sea cable is to be accessed from either South Africa or Mozambique.

The company is 60% owned by Telecel International while the remainder is owned by Empowerment Corporation of Zimbabwe, a consortium of local business people.

Taurai Mangudhla

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