Zimbabwe’s largest cellco in terms of subscribers Econet Wireless has launched the first commercial 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the country, ahead of the United Nations (UN) World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Victoria Falls and Livingstone, which is set for 24-29 August 2013. The new 4G network is currently available in the capital Harare, the tourist town of Victoria Falls, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport and Victoria Falls International Airport. The 4G services will provide visiting delegates with theoretical download speeds of up to 65Mbps.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, companies wishing to offer LTE services do not need a special licence in Zimbabwe, as the only requirement for the deployment of 4G services is the availability of the frequency bands and the payment of the relevant spectrum fees. Econet has reportedly been planning an LTE deployment for several years, and while its rivals Telecel and NetOne have not yet formally indicated that they are looking to roll out 4G services, reports have emerged suggesting that they have plans to trial LTE technology in the coming months.