After 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.
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.
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.