Zimbabwe UNWTO 2013: Econet to launch 4G LTE services in Victoria Falls

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Econet Chief Marketing Office, Isaiah Nyangari, announced last week that Econet will be rolling out LTE services in Zimbabwe’s tourist town of Victoria Falls, where this year’s United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly will be held next month. The announcement was made at the official handover of a Communications Centre to the Ministry of Tourism by the company in Harare. The centre will be used for the UNWTO conference.

According to Nyangari, LTE services will go live in the town in time for the conference in order to provide visiting delegates world class internet connectivity during their stay in Zimbabwe. LTE in Victoria Falls has clearly been spurred by the UNWTO conference itself, as well as the fact that Victoria Falls is tourist destination and therefore reasonable to assume need to support LTE roaming customers. Victoria Falls will be the first location in the country to go live with commercial LTE if this pans out.

Econet has been rumoured to be working on an LTE deployment in recent years. It’s their efforts to prepare for a future of faster internet speed which will in turn result in more consumption of data services and therefore increased revenues. Econet already has the largest 3G network in the country spanning all the cities and major towns including Victoria Falls. Even though Telecel and NetOne have not indicated that they are looking to roll out LTE services in the future, it’s reasonable to assume they have plans to trial LTE (or are already) in the coming several months.