Zimbabwe’s third mobile operator Telecel has revealed that it plans to launch 4G LTE services next year, saying the market is still not ready for the high speed technology. A report from local news portal TechZim cites Telecel CEO Angeline Vere as saying that the return on investment for LTE in Zimbabwe ‘doesn’t warrant a huge rollout’. Rival firms NetOne and Econet Wireless have already been pushing ahead with their own 4G deployments, with Econet announcing this week that it had begun offering LTE services for 4G-enabled smartphone users as well as via dongles. Smartphone penetration in Zimbabwe stands at around 20%, which Vere says limits the potential impact of LTE, and most 4G-ready handsets are still much too expensive for the average Zimbabwean. Vere says Telecel is currently concentrating on consolidating its 2G and 3G networks before moving on to more advanced systems.
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