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Econet and Google partner to beam broadband

By , Zimbabwe correspondent
Africa , Zimbabwe , 19 Nov 2020

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in collaboration with the Econet Group, is preparing to launch a new high-speed broadband technology service based on laser beam technology rather than fibre optic infrastructure.

Roll out is scheduled for 2021 in Zimbabwe, with plans to extend the service to other Sub-Saharan countries.

In a statement, Econet said the new technology can connect two points 20km apart in a matter of hours, instead of approximately two weeks it takes to lay fibre cables.

An excerpt from the statement reads: “The laser beam cable can currently deliver up to 10Gigabytes of internet capacity at the ‘speed of light’ capable of streaming high-quality video. It is ideal for connecting small towns, mines, and large businesses. It can also be used to connect areas that are unsafe to lay fibre cables.”

Liquid, which was established in 2003, claims to preside over the ‘largest fibre network in southern Africa’, which provides backhaul between most urban areas and last mile connectivity in the main cities of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa.

According to the company, its network is the first to cross country borders and covers some of the most challenging parts of the world where no fixed network has existed before. Many of these areas are not covered by wireless or satellite.

This new technology was developed by an Alphabet subsidiary called X that is focused on high-tech solutions known as ‘Moon Shots’.

Econet remains tight-lipped on details and the company’s spokesperson Fungai Mandiveyi did not respond to the question as to whether or not there is an intention to replace fibre going forward.

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