One of the biggest asset Africom has been sitting on is its 800mhz frequency, which technically was a gold mine and envy of many mobile network operators, as this is the only range that has real 4g speeds possibilities over long distances.
Potraz, the national Telecommunications regulator will in the next two weeks snap up the huge chunk which Africom was sitting on as they re-allocate frequency, to accommodate more 4G and LTE players.
By Toneo T
Africom under their current 800mhz frequency were enjoying 4g possibilities of one base station beaming between 15-21km, while mobile network operators in Zimbabwe under GSM frequency 1800 -2100 beam a maximum of 3-4km per base station.
This then simply means 4G networks in Zimbabwe were 4 times more expensive to run, simply because of frequency allocation and all mobile Network Operators in Zimbabwe were forking out a minimum 4 times , should they need 4G over 20km stretch.
This technically meant that operators would only have 4g and LTE over shorter distances, mainly in CBDs where there is a better business case and anything outside that range would come at a huge cost.
Potraz is greatly commended for finally fixing up this anomaly, which will see mobile networks squeeze the 4G bandwidth, allowing Zimbabweans to enjoy larger coverage.
Africom will still enjoy its 800mhs frequency, but will be moved downwards to accommodate other players as well.
In a combined statement by Africom and the ministry of ICT Postal and courier services. They stated
Africom would like to advise all our valued subscribers that as at midnight of the 18th of May 2017, all current Africom Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) will switch over to a new frequency. Consequently after midnight 18th May 2017, your phone , modern, (Dongle) and or mobile wifi Gadget will fail to connect to any of the services you currently enjoy on the Africom network if you are still using the old Africom Sim card.
However, this means more aggressive competition to them as many players can now broadcast cheaply in their frequency range.
Africom subscribers will however need to change their SIM cards, for their devices be it fixed or mobile, to still access the service from the new base station frequency.
“During the upgrade, Africom will issue new SIM cards to every Africom Subscriber FREE of charge . This exercise will not change your current number or the services that you currently enjoy. Your credit of the time of swap also remains unchanged” said the statement