Zimbabwe’s Powertel to roll-out CDMA service to Bulawayo


Powertel Communications - a unit of Zesa Holdings - is set to roll out its new CDMAservice in Bulawayo before the end of the year. Before, the service was only available in Harare.

The Sunday Mail Business understands that the telecommunications company has already sourced two base stations that will form the backbone for the service in the country’s second biggest city. Presently setting up a base station in Zimbabwe costs between US$190,000 and US$270,000 depending on the equipment that is used.

According to Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira, provision of the service is now viable because of the use of a stable currency. "We are working on the logistics, but we are working at introducing the CDMA service in Bulawayo as part of our national rollout project. We will definitely be expanding to other areas as well.

"It must be considered that we have an obligation to provide these services to the public as a social responsibility and also to break even," explained Gwasira.

Powertel is working to strategically position itself in the telecommunications industry and is leveraging its projects on a strategic relationship it has with Chinese vendor ZTE. In 2005, Powertel Communications signed a US$35 million deal with a Chinese manufacturer for the supply of equipment for its national fibre network roll-out programme.

Sunday Mail Business