NetOne to install 300 base stations as it aims for 100% coverage

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
NetOne 5g Base stations

State-owned mobile network operator (MNO) NetOne held an event where it announced the expansion of its network capacity. The country’s second-largest MNO is set to install over 300 new base stations under the NMBB3 (National Mobile Broadband Phase 3).

As has been said many times over by NetOne, the goal for the project is to bring 5G into Zimbabwe. This is a lofty and misplaced objective because at present 4G LTE coverage is in select areas and its performance is spotty at best. Even the now ancient 3G is unheard of in small towns and cities.

Last week we reported on the state of mobile internet coverage and consistency in Zimbabwe citing that the jump to 5G didn’t really make sense. Neither does including 5G in the PR for this project.

I dare say most Zimbabweans would be happy if they could traverse from town to town without so much as a hiccup in internet connectivity even if it’s just 3G. Furthermore, how many devices in Zimbabwe can utilize 5G? I doubt there are many.

Another thing this brings up is the investment made by the government and its MNO. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to buy more 4G infrastructure as the technology is reaching maturity rather than dipping our toes in services that are still relatively new?

Before I go on a biblical tangent, I leave it to you to weigh in on this in the comments. Do you think 5G is the way?

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  1. Anonymous

    Some countries are phasing out 2g networks yet in zim it’s still been used just shows how slow things are this side as

  2. Anonymous

    5g is still quiet expensive am sure it will be cheaper as time goes on. We don’t want these companies to end up passing on these costs to us. Why rush for 5g when 3g isn’t even strongly available across the whole nation.


    5G Is a noble idea but expanding older & less expensive 3G Is better across the nation ….

  4. Joko

    You clearly do not have a clue on how mobile networks work. A 5G network will be able to support all its predecessors unless they are phased out. The deployment would be expensive because the country already has an extensive fibre optic network it would be just installing antennaes only. The only drag is few people have phones that support 5G but it is the way to go my lads

    1. Anonymous

      You clearly do not understand these technologies as you claim. 5g is not compatible with 4g. They different bands, different techs. Your 4g phone will not work. Here another fun fact. You cannot make calls with 4g either in Zimbabwe! Your phone actually drops to 3g to make a call. Check next time so these people haven’t even implimented 4 lg fully with VoLTE now we are singing about 5g

  5. Joko

    meant to say the deployment would not be expensive ***

  6. Mbiru

    Netone is simply looking to the future better have it and not use it than not have it and need it. Your biggest problem is your are not thinking 10 years from now they might not be, but they thank the ancestors in the years time

  7. Blessing Mtetwa

    Why jump to 5G when places like chitungwiza you are hardly on 4G the service is bad. I think that they should have roll out mostly the 4G to most towns and cities so that we have more coverage as for 5G the tech is good but in Zimbabwe its a little bit useless when we can not have proper 4G to use.

  8. Blessing Mtetwa

    Jumping to 5G when 4G is hardly cover most of Zimbabwe i think its a bad idea most people still use 4G and where i stay in Chitungwiza netone is mostly on 3G and the coverage is not something that you can admire to be frank. 5G technology is new and most people in Zimbabwe do not have the gadgets that will use the full potential of the tech as hardly right now we can not make VOIP without the network dropping

  9. Victoreloaded

    They should have started by making sure that their 4g is working everywhere b4 embarking on 5g

  10. Joko

    The problem is not on 3G 4G or 5G the problem is on the transmission protocol that they use they are still using SDH systems as their transmission protocol whilst these new technologies are optimised for MPLS systems. What they are doing is tatantamount to installing more ram on a pentium 1 machine it doesnt make that much difference..

  11. Esrom Musanhu

    The fact that some areas don’t have 2g, 3g and 4g doesn’t mean that the country must not upgrade to latest technology. It doesn’t make sense importing 3g now. It takes very few years for most people to have 5g phones and we must be geared for that now. Its just 10 years ago when we were on 2g and we are now talking of 5g 5g 5g. Let us talk about the future and encourage the service providers to cover all areas with this 5g so that when the market is flooded with 5g, everybody will be covered. Don’t forget that all new phone being produce now will all by this time next year be coming with 5g. Remember all new phones being produced now are all coming equipped with 4g. Next year it will be 5, a year later it will be 6g. I personally believe the installation of 5g is a noble idea.

  12. J .Nyathi

    Let them up grade and service broken down boosters even i townships like Nkulumane 11.
    In Byo.
    Resdents are paying for an unvailable service.

  13. J .Nyathi

    Thank you

  14. FreeInternet4all

    They are late adopters, pretty soon SpaceX and Starlink will obliterate their business

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