BARCELONA, Spain – Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (ZSE: ECO.ZW) has strengthened its partnership with Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) at Mobile World Congress 2023, Barcelona, Spain as it prepares for 5G expansion by modernizing its Radio Access Network (RAN) and mobile Core network across Harare, Zimbabwe.
Through upgrades in its mobile Core and RAN solutions, Ericsson will help accelerate Econet’s digital transformation journey. The network upgrade will pave the way for Econet to deliver 5G connectivity in more locations, unlocking advanced consumer and enterprise use cases.
As part of the mobile Core evolution, Ericsson will modernize the existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network to cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core, as well as upgrade the Unified Data Management (UDM) solution. The scope of the agreement with Econet also includes Ericsson’s cloud infrastructure solutions, the Circuit Switch Core modernization and the introduction of IP Multimedia System (IMS) for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi).
Modernizing Econet’s network infrastructure will enable a wide range of services to subscribers, including high-definition VoLTE and applications that require low latency and improved responsiveness. High-speed internet will be enabled through 4G and 5G radio access networks, coupled to the modernized packet core network. Along with enhancing user experience, Econet will also benefit from increased network coverage and capacity.
The network modernization will include Econet’s existing 2G, 3G and LTE networks, with Ericsson’s latest 5G multi-band, multi-sector radios – such as Radio 4466 – which offers capacity expansion, energy efficiency and an average of 15 percent reduction in tower load. Through the partnership, Econet will realize greater LTE indoor penetration and continue its seamless deployment of 5G, Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) and private networks.
Early last year, Ericsson partnered with Econet to launch 5G across Harare, Zimbabwe. The modernization of Econet’s network infrastructure through Ericsson’s enhanced Radio Access Network (RAN) portfolio and core portfolio will complement the digital infrastructure goals of the Smart Zimbabwe 2030 agenda and bring Econet closer to attaining 5G market leadership in the country.
Read the full press release here.