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Zimbabwe makes strides in wireless technology

Gift Machengete
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ZIMBABWE has made significant strides in the area of wireless technologies despite the inhibiting circumstances of the previous four years, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) Director-general Dr Gift Machengete has said.

Speaking at the World Radio Communications Conference 2023 (WRC23) preparatory meeting, Dr Machengete said the intervening period has seen Zimbabwe develop and launch its own satellite – ZimSat-1 by the Government through the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA).

Dr Machengete said the achievement showed that Zimbabwe can undertake research and development and produce equipment that is useful for its needs.

“The timeline has also witnessed the launch of IMT2020/ 5G by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Such developments attest to the importance of our active participation at the World Radio Conference and the need for everyone of goodwill to join us in our quest to create a connected Zimbabwe.

“It is the nature of human beings to live in communities, which communities are built through communication. Each of us has loved ones, some live with us and some live several hours’ flight away, yet we need to find a means to communicate with them if we are not to drift apart,” he said.

Dr Machengete said the introduction of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 opened a whole new era of real time long distance communication which has only been refined and improved over the years.

“We now talk of chats, voice notes, voice calls and video calls, most times without stopping to think, what makes these possible,” he said.

“The developed countries of the world have rolled out the fifth generation of mobile services (5G) and are beginning to think of the next generation. Their choice of frequencies for 5G was primarily in the milli-metre bands above 20 gigahertz (GHz).

“The same frequencies are available for use in Zimbabwe and indeed in Africa, but we believe they are not cost effective for us to roll out services. The frequencies which we believe to be economical are in bands below 10 GHz.”

He said the bands were already in use for some other services and there were four Agenda items in the WRC23 Agenda which aim to avail spectrum for mobile services.

“Those of us who are in the aviation sector will be keen to hear that there are plans to modernise the aeronautical services, by implementing digital systems in the aeronautical bands. Digital communications have the advantage of offering clearer communication wherever one is located throughout the service area.” – Herald