While the economic outlook for most businesses in Zimbabwe may be uncertain, the mobile sector and Econet Wireless in particular are booming.
The nation’s leading cellular provider reported revenues of US$236 million for the six months through August, an increase of 79 percent from US$131.5 million for the comparable period in 2009. Profits surged to nearly US$65 million.
Company spokesman Ranga Mberi told reporter Tatenda Gumbo that Econet has taken the lead in innovation, attributing brisk growth to its internal investment.
The firm launched a life insurance product with First Mutual Life Assurance company under which mobile users can earn free life insurance coverage.
The company is now launching a US$100 million broadband service expansion which Mberi says will help revitalize Zimbabwe’s infrastructure and economy.
On similar lines, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology says it is rolling out a fibre-optic cable program with seed funding of US$6.2 million.
ICT Minister Melson Chamisa said the government hopes state-operated mobile carrier NetOne and fixed-line unit TelOne can cooperate with the private sector to expand broadband access throughout Zimbabwe.