Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms company, has launched a ‘green’ campaign that will see the company invest in alternative energies, raising environmental awareness and alleviating the crippling impact of worsening power cuts on service.
The new thrust, called Econet Energy, will see the country’s largest telecoms company expand its investment in renewable energy, with the aim of ultimately reducing its reliance on increasingly unreliable traditional power sources.
Power cuts remain the biggest cause of poor network performance, as the loss of power to a base station has a chain reaction across the network. As a result, customers face connection failures and dropped calls.
The power cuts have forced Econet to invest substantially in back up power. Such is the extent of the power outages that, at their peak, 70% of Econet’s base stations can be on generator at a single time.
“However, it is not always possible to have generators at every site, and to run them for extended periods of time. As a result, outages have caused great inconvenience for customers,” Econet CEO Mr Douglas Mboweni said. “But we are not folding our hands and retreating. We have a responsibility to our customers, and what we are doing is investing more in a future of alternative, less expensive, more eco-friendly energy.”
These initiatives will gradually reduce dependence on erratic power supply and also on diesel back up power, which comes at a huge financial cost to Econet. “It is time we fundamentally changed our traditional view of energy,” Mr Mboweni said.
Econet’s investment in alternative energies will see more solar-powered base stations built, while its stores will sell an exciting range of new eco-friendly products. Among the new products unveiled by the Company are solar-powered lamps, which will prove popular amid worsening power cuts. Also in stock is a range of solar powered handsets and chargers.
“These products are meant to make life easier for our customers, and are a testament to our commitment to invest in a green future,” Mr Mboweni said.