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Econet to expand 5G network

CLOUDINE MATOLA

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest telecommunications and technology company, says it would   be expanding its 5G network and utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to enhance customer service and operational efficiency, Business Times can report.

James Myers, the chairman of the Econet board, disclosed this, stating that expanding on the 5G network creates new prospects for the business.

“We are looking to scale up our 5G penetration to unlock new opportunities, leverage artificial intelligence and process automation to improve operational efficiencies and customer service delivery,” Myers said.

He said AI has become an integral part of their business operations.

According to Myers , Econet increased  its usage of AI in 2023 to boost productivity, improve operational efficiency, optimise their business and deliver better customer experiences.

He said the company pledges to continue investing in the infrastructure for them to meet their customer needs and keep up with global trends.

“The business continues to experience sustained growth in the demand for its products and services shaped by evolving customer needs. We will continue to invest in our network infrastructure in order to meet customer demands and keep abreast with global trends in line with our vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no Zimbabwean behind,” Myers said.

In its financial results for the 12 months to February 29, 2024, Econet more than doubled its revenue  to ZW$14.8 trillion from ZW$6.3 trillion achieved in the previous year.

Investment in network modernization resulted in volume growth of voice and data of 34% and 36% respectively.

However, Econet’s loss widened to ZW$1.1 trillion for the period under review from ZW$317bn reported in 2023.

Myers said the depreciation of the local currency during 2023 affected the group’s financial performance.

Exchange losses for the period under review were ZW$ 3.2 trillion translating to 22% of revenue against 23% for the prior year.

He said the group is looking forward to benefiting from Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) since the hyperinflation of ZW$ affected the financial statements.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 175% to ZW$7.1 trillion for the period under review from ZW$2.6bn recorded prior comparative period.


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