Zimbabwe operator and mobile money provider Econet Wireless warned it would be forced to take drastic measures if a solution is not found to the energy crisis embroiling the country, after a major outage hit services last week.
Although it did not specify what actions it would be forced into, the operator told Reuters guaranteeing a reasonable service was “untenable and uneconomical” under current conditions.
The comments came after power outages left its wireless and Ecocash payment services unstable over the weekend, with some customers reporting they were completely cut off.
Zimbabwe is currently in the midst of an energy shortage and economic crisis, with an ongoing drought limiting the abilities of hydropower plants. Econet is relying on diesel fuel and reportedly needs to use six times the fuel it is currently consuming to provide a reliable service.
At current levels of energy availability, some base stations would apparently be unable to operate at certain times of the day.
Outages in the Ecocash mobile money service are made worse from a social perspective as Zimbabwe is also suffering with a lack of access to physical cash.