Econet Wireless: Providing satellite backhaul for cellular base stations in rural Zimbabwe

Liquid Intelligent Technologies provides satellite backhaul for cellular base stations in rural Zimbabwe, helping Econet Wireless move closer to its goal of countrywide coverage. 


Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is the country’s largest provider of mobile cellular services. With large areas of Zimbabwe still without cellular cover, Econet Wireless hired Liquid Intelligent Technologies to provide an advanced VSAT system.


Building and operating commercially sustainable networks in remote areas throws up problems including transporting kit on poor roads, generating power in areas with no electricity, and equipment maintenance.


We helped Econet Wireless improve coverage by implementing a VSAT system which provides backhaul to their rural cellular base stations in Marymount, Masase and Sango Border Post. Our satellite connection includes:

  • a DVB-S2 shared bandwidth downstream carrier – enabling dynamic adjustment of bandwidth to suit demand.
  • dedicated SCPC return links – an always-on connection utilising the latest modulation and coding techniques to maximise efficiency.
  • guaranteed service levels for specific types of traffic, e.g. voice, SMS and Internet traffic.

Every BTS is connected to a VSAT which then uses a dedicated IP backhaul link back to a state-of-the-art VSAT hub in Harare. The VSATs, satellite backhaul link and hub are all provided by Liquid Intelligent Technologies. Both the BTS and VSAT run on minimal power so they can be powered by solar.


Econet Wireless is now able to provide GPRS and EDGE coverage to even the most remote villages – changing people’s lives today and in the future.


“Liquid Intelligent Technologies has enabled us to provide cellular services to remote areas where it has always been extremely difficult for operators to make the business model work. Liquid has built a reliable and cost-effective VSAT link and, in the process, has helped change the lives of many people in Zimbabwe for the better.” 
Francis Mahofa, General Manager, Network Planning and Deployment, Econet Wireless

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