HARARE – Zimbabwe’s government plans to deploy more than 300 base stations across the country this year to address connectivity issues, especially in rural areas. Installation and operation will be entrusted to NetOne.
“We have sent our team to do mapping and scoping, and we want to make sure that we are connecting the unconnected people,” said Jenfan Muswere, minister of information, communication, technology and postal services and messaging.
The initiative is part of the Smart Zimbabwe 2030 master plan which aims to improve connectivity within communities. The government recently unveiled the national broadband program for the period 2023-2030, which provides for investments by the state and the private sector to guarantee broadband for all.
This initiative gives a helping hand to telecommunications operators in Zimbabwe, some of whom find it difficult to invest in infrastructure, due to the local operational context. They face rising operating costs, high inflation, load shedding, etc.
The deployment of 300 base stations should make it possible to improve not only the coverage, but also the quality of the telecom services provided to the populations. According to the telecoms regulator’s latest statistics for the third quarter of 2022, Zimbabwe has 14.5 million mobile phone subscribers, representing a penetration rate of 95.9%.