Speaking at a press conference, the company’s chief executive officer Mr Douglas Mboweni said the mobile network company was ready to rollout a package of data services based on 3G, GPRS and EDGE technologies. 

The data services would be launched on 28 August. He said a 3G service would initially be available in Harare, and before being extended to all the country’s major cities by the end of the year.

"We ran successful 3G tests in Harare following authorisations from the regulator. As we prepare for a full launch, we are proceeding into test marketing, where we will offer the service to a test panel of subscribers while new bandwidth is being built in," Mr Mboweni said.

The service would initially be offered to a maximum of 55,000 customers.

The company’s network in the southern parts of the country is already EDGE-ready. He also said GPRS network was already being offered to a limited market and would now be substantially expanded with the arrival of new bandwidth.

The operator recently started receiving shipments of equipment worth US$200 million from Ericsson and ZTE which, when installed, will avert the shortages of lines in the country. The network aims to double its network capacity to 5 million lines when the upgrade is completed.