TelOne Seeks U.S.$280 Million for Infrastructure Development in Zimbabwe

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Zimbabwe’s sole fixed telecommunication operator TelOne needs at least US$280 million to upgrade its infrastructure.

TelOne, which also offers various communication services including data communication, Internet connectivity and satellite services is looking for investors to come up with funds, equipment and technical expertise. Major areas to be covered under the exercise include fibre optic national transmission backbone, which would see the linking of Mutare (Forbes Border Post) and Harare.

At Forbes Border Post in Mutare, the link would then be connected to the Mozambican network, which is also linked to the undersea cables across the Indian Ocean. There is also the Harare-Kwekwe-Gweru-Masvingo-Beitbridge link, which will also feed into the South African network.

Another link will be the Mutare-Juliusdale-Nyanga line, which is expected to facilitate better communication in the Eastern Highlands. Other resort towns to be linked also include Hwange-Binga-Gokwe and Kwekwe.

Apart from the laying of the fibre optic backbone, TelOne also has targeted developing soft switching and Internet protocol nodes. Areas to be covered include Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo.

The third lot of the three-stage upgrade would also see access network in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo. Local networks are largely obsolete, having been laid down to cater for voice only and these have been overtaken by technological developments.

Completion of the network upgrade is likely to see an improved connectivity to the internet, reduced communication rates and a widening of accessibility. TelOne continues to face a lot of challenges ranging from vandalism and theft of copper wire and equipment. Over the years, TelOne failed to fully implement various network expansion programmes as a result of inadequate funding.

The Herald