The Zimbabwe Minister of ICT Postal and Courier Services last week dropped a very interesting development in the pipeline, but for the first time, truly was not excited, but rather cautious.
The bold headlines that we saw in the state-run newspaper Sunday mail, screamed “We are bringing 5G Network Soon ”
For any tech enthusiasts, this was a wow moment, something worth celebrating but hold on, this is not the type of headline we would celebrate for very simple reasons, 1 this is government promising!
The government of Zimbabwe under the ministry of ICT still has a lot to do ad implement under its state-owned Entrripes, they need to be first operational and second profitable before they promise breathtaking 5G speeds.
If this was said but a private player the response would be slightly different, s they are more driven by a business case and easily shift their existing 4gand LTE base stations from main cities CBD to make way for the 5G, but however they are all bound by reason 2, which still leaves me not excited
Zimbabwe has only 1,090, 4G base stations with 726 for Econet, 347, for Netone and 17 for Telecel.
However, Zimbabwe still has 2,935, 3G and 4,971, 2G base stations which x% total data connectivity is a small percentage to drive the national data penetration.
For the minister of ICT to then make such a fired-up statement is not exciting but worrying as we still have a huge hole to fix..
The ICT Minister recently quoted saying:
We are also pursuing various initiatives around smart solutions as outlined in our Smart Zimbabwe 2030 masterplan for smart agriculture, smart cities, smart health, smart learning among others which will enhance our thrust towards achieving the goals of the digital economy as set out in NDS1.
We are also finalising the e-government platforms and the roll out of the NetOne MBB (Mobile Broad Band) phase 3, which will see the deployment of more than 250 base stations including 5G.
Econet and other private sector companies are also involved in various ways.
The basis of communication will need to be fixed if Zimbabwe is going to lap forward as a technology-driven economy