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Telecel Currently Testing 3G, to Launch by September

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Google Zim on Phone

Telecel Google InternetAfter a couple of questions here on the blog about when Telecel will introduce 3G, we decided to reach out to Telecel last week to get an update straight from the horse’s mouth.

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What we got is that Telecel is still in the testing phase and if you’re waiting to get data services from the second largest mobile operator, expect that wait to last some 2 months or so from now. The test group is quite small; some 200 subscribers.

Before this new update, Telecel told us in early May there would be a launch right about now. Maybe the launch they meant was that of the test phase.

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On data services coverage, Telecel is taking the Econet approach; the whole network is GPRS ready but 3G will initially be available in the capital only.

The Telecel spokesperson we communicated with says Telecel Zimbabwe is getting technical assistance on this project from its major shareholder, Telecel Globe and  the Telecel Globe parent company, Orascom Telecom.

We also asked if Telecel might face the same capacity issues that have troubled Econet since launch last year, Telecel response was:

The main challenge is obtaining enough bandwidth and ensuring stability of the service.  All operators will experience problems when launching new services, especially those as technically and investment intensive as data services.

In English, Yes.


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23 thoughts on “Telecel Currently Testing 3G, to Launch by September

  1. I don’t know what’s involved or the costs thereof but wouldn’t it be better to rather use the money to try and jump straight to LTE (4G)(or even WiMax) since it’s looking like the next standard. Aren’t they a little too late for 3G? Vodacom is said to have finished doing tests on LTE. More information about LTE vs WiMAX here http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/06/wired-explains-4g/

  2. From what i know, LTE technology is still way off from becoming an actual standard yet, coz most mobile communication providers are still testing the technology amongst many other possible solutions, and it’s highly highly expensive. Also without the avaliability of a solid fiber optic backbone, it is nearly impossible to roll out these technologies.

    Also the current 3G standard is more than enough to cater for most people’s data needs. The only difficulties we are currently facing are due to fiber optic issues and as Econet rightly stated in their recent youtube video post, the completion of their fiber optic project will ensure real 3G speeds and convienance and this is really the difference between 3G from Vodacom or MTN and Econet. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time, but connection speeds will certainly improve in the near future and LTE will not be immediately neccessary.

    As for 4G (Mobile Wimax), we already have this service, being offered by Ecoweb and this is the technology i am personally using to connect to the internet. It’s a little bit expensive at the moment, but at the same time it’s understandable why they have to charge so much, however i must say if you can afford, it’s certainly worth every cent because the service is moderately fast and availiable most of the time. Also the 4G service offered by Ecoweb is currently one of the best standards for mobile internet connectivity in the world today.

    The main reason why people in South Africa enjoy faster internet access is only because of a solid fiber optic backbone they have to relay on and Zimbabwe is also in the process of laying out a similar structure, which however costs a lot of money and time…

  3. econet thoroughly disapointed me, their speeds are worse that telones dialup, and they have the guts to call it 3g and charge me $25 each month. mira uone…

  4. I hope Telecel`s connection will be better, am fed up of this Econet 3grrrrr slowwww, Thanx to Andrew for the thumbs up on 4g might need to try it out

  5. This could bring good news for consumers. Having another network on the market with 3G could bring prices down and making data even more affordable. We will wait and see.

  6. Don’t you think it is best to go one step at a time instead of jumping straight to 4G or WiMax? They could end up investing is something that doesn’t really take off and then what?

  7. 3g here in gweru is very bad, have the time i am disconnected. i am hoping telecel will be much better, problem with econet is that they dnt have the customers at heart, every time i go complain at the gweru econet shop they say they dont know – wat kind of answer is that?

  8. If Telecel uses existing/planned fibre infrastructure, its good. Otherwise Econet may be a step ahead. It is really sad and unfortunate that companies have chosen to compete and not collectively build the fibre infrastructure. This will, generally, translate to high prices across all networks, impacting everyone’s profits and ultimately the development of the country.

  9. its surprising they are already out unofficial it appears.Someone is selling them for 100 usd.Hope telecel will not go the econet way where these line are only available at exhobitant prices at other outlets other than econet.Please stop this rot and make these lines available.

  10. I got a Telecel data line on Wednesday and can only connect in the Southerton area. In The Grange and Chisipite it just does not connect – does Telecel coverage not extend that far?

  11. There’s definitely no such thing as 4G in Zimbabwe. Let’s not mislead each other. It’s not even available in South Africa and not nationwide in the US.

  12. plz send us the settings or hw we can connect!!, wld b nyc to have some competion coz other networks r ripping us off iur money!!!

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