Zimbabwe’s largest provider of telecommunications services, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has hired Ericsson to run its Core network upgrade program and to simplify and upgrade the existing 2G/3G/4G/LTE networks, future proofing it for the rapid mobile expansion in the country.
According to Bernard Fernandes, Group CTO of Econet: “We have chosen our trusted long-term partner Ericsson to accompany us on this journey and look forward to the ability to launch new products and quality services to our customers.”
Building on the companies’ existing long-term partnership, the new scope will rationalize and upgrade the Core network as well as introduce the latest Ericsson network architecture.
The agreement includes a complete multi-access Evolved Packet Core with Evolved Packet Gateway on SSR 8020, SGSN-MME and Service-Aware Policy Controller as well as Mobile Switching Center and Media Gateway. It also includes close integration between policy and charging functions, which will enable Econet to reduce time-to-market for new offerings and increased personalization capabilities. In the Harare area, which currently carries more than half of all traffic on the network, the project will also upgrade the radio access network (RAN) to include Ericsson’s multi-standard RBS 6000 family of base stations for macro and small cell networks.
Pieter Goosen, Country Manager for Ericsson Zimbabwe, says: “Econet is the market leader in Zimbabwe and this project will give them one of the most advanced Core networks on the continent, providing them far more capacity to manage and scale their network.”
Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd is a provider of telecommunication services with 9.2 million registered subscribers. The company offers solutions in mobile wireless, internet access and charging solutions as well as overlay services such as Ecofarmer, Ecocash and HPS. Econet launched its network in 1998, and has grown to be the largest provider of telecommunications and payment solutions in Zimbabwe.