A recent study has revealed that Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is in the process of raising several millions of dollars in a massive network project to replace impotent equipment with modern and useful ones in order to solve the current problems affecting data services and value-added services that are being caused by the obsolete equipment.
Consequently, Econet has since engaged ZTE, Chinese leading multinational telecommunications, and systems giant to for a multi-million dollar core network project that is expected to begin soon.
This move was triggered by Econet’s bid to replace their old Ericson equipment which is no longer functioning properly.
Recently, Econet has been receiving several calls from subscribers to address a number of connectivity problems arising from their poor service delivery due to the obsolete equipment and the mobile network operator has responded by issuing complaints’ barrage.
In the year 2008 Econet underwent the same process where they called Ericson the Swedish giant to supply core network expansion equipment composed of switching systems and intelligence network platforms while ZTE supplied the Southern parts of the country with Radio base stations.
The company’s Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Douglas Mboweni confirmed that the ZTE deal was on and said that the Company was in the process of confronting banks to access foreign currency for the projects but however denied to give the exact currency worth of the project since the company is in a closed period.
Mboweni, however, said that the Company is willing to publicly announce their progress on the network project by end of May stating that by then he will also be able to give more details on the current occurrences at Econet.
Mboweni further stated that the company was facing serious crippling foreign currency shortages that are hindering several company objectives from materializing saying that most of the equipment that Econet uses is imported and for that to happen the company needs to access a lot of foreign currency which the local banks are failing to supply at the moment but he, however, said the company was already in confrontations with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on the foreign currency issue.
The company is also in the process of establishing creative ways of sourcing equipment and convincing suppliers to bring their equipment to Zimbabwe and there are also payment plans with suppliers that cannot be divulged at the moment, said Mboweni.
The network systems equipment overhaul, once completed is likely going to bring an end to the network hiccups currently being experienced by Econet Wireless subscribers.