Given Zimbabwe's approximately 18 hours a day power outages in most parts of the country, Econet, the country's leading telecommunications company and mobile moneys service provider, has started installing Tesla's 520 Powerwall batteries to keep its base stations running. With this roll-out, Zimbabweans who are Econet customers and use the EcoCash mobile money service can expect uninterrupted services from Econet when the power grid in the country goes down.

According to Distributed Power Africa (DPA), a subsidiary of Econet tasked with the installations, they conducted a 12-month trial integrating Tesla Powerwall with one of Econet’s telecommunication towers to provide backup power adn it proved to be a success.

“We were impressed with the performance of Tesla Powerwall during the trial stage.
It addresses the power back up requirements, offers 100% depth of discharge and has a wide temperature operating range.  It also offers real time monitoring and will help mitigate against current battery theft issues being experience with lead acid batteries.  We look forward to working with Tesla on other initiatives in energy security," said Norman Moyo, CEO Econet Energy (and DPA).

Importance of mobile money in Zimbabwe

During 2018, Zimbabwe's leading and most dominant (by market share) mobile money provider, EcoCash, was not working for two days. As a result, it brought the bulk of the Southern African country's day-to-day economy to almost a standstill given the physical cash shortage in Zimbabwe and its dominance.

EcoCash has approximately 90% market share as far as Zimbabwe's mobile money sector is concerned.

Apart from carrying out the Tesla Powerwall installations, DPA will also be responsible for operating, managing and monitoring the Powerwalls as part of its energy management solution for the Econet telecom towers. Tesla will supply DPA with 520 Powerwalls to power 260 Econet sites, with the first 65 sites to be installed in the coming months during 2019.

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