In a sign of the increasing excitement in Zimbabwe’s Internet industry, news reaching us is that Africom is aggressively expanding their network. Africom a major player in Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry offers voice and data (fixed and mobile) products using the wireless CDMA EV-DO Revision A standard.
The company whose roots are in the enterprise sector has in recent times been making an aggressive push for customers in the retail space. Africom executive Rudo Mudavanhu indicated that her company has recently added base stations in Beitbridge, Gweru, Kwekwe, Kadoma and Norton and was working around the clock to expand coverage to Masvingo, Kariba, Victoria Falls, Hwange and Dangamvura suburb in Mutare.
An Africom source who declined to be identified indicated that in Masvingo the company is acquiring sites for base stations and finalising approval from property owners. Once this process was complete market activation would happen fairly quickly. He further noted that the presence of backhaul providers Liquid Telecom and Telone in the town would expedite service delivery. In towns along the Harare to Mutare corridor base stations were already in place and Africom is waiting upon the backhaul providers to finalise their work.
Harare is also benefiting from this network investment and has seen capacity upgrades in the CBD, Avondale and Mt Pleasant in an effort to support the increase in usage by customers. Coverage in Harare is also being expanded to Kamfinsa, Kuwadzana, Hatfield, Hatcliffe and Chitungwiza.
Mudavanhu indicated that overall the expansion of Africom’s footprint will assist the company in offering their range of products “to greater demographics and also to keep our service quality excellent in areas with greater usage”.
Zimbabwe’s Internet space is now marked by exciting developments among the industry players that has seen significant network expansion being undertaken by PowerTel, ZOL offering new fibre packages (which may soon be expanded to other parts of Harare) and Utande launching their WiMAX broadband service uMAX.