NetOne Intensifies Expansion in Zimbabwe
Incumbent NetOne has intensified its expansion drive in the past two months by installing base stations across the country, the company's Managing Director Reward Kangai has said.
This will result in the operator easing congestion on its network. Kangai told the media last week that: "In the past two months we have extended our coverage to areas like Sandawana Mine south of Mberengwa, Mataga in the same area and Kenmaur in Matebeleland North. Other areas include Gwanda, Kadoma, Sadza, Turk Mine, Sengwa area in Gokwe North, Chabatabere near Chireya, Tengwe and various other sites in Harare and Bulawayo to ease congestion.
"There are areas in Bulawayo that were added like Saucetown, Magwegwe, Luveve, Raylton, Morningside, Tshabalala, Cowdry Park, Belmont and Nkulumane. "In Harare there is NRZ, Raylton Sports Club, Arcadia, Hogherty Hill, Strathaven, Newlands, Epworth, Rugare, Eaglesvale School and Lochinvar," he said.
NetOne had demarcated Zimbabwe into two sections with two Mobile Switching Centres (MSCs) one in Harare and another in Bulawayo. These two MSCs service the whole of the country in terms of network coverage. The Southern Region network is serviced by the Huawei Technologies MSC which is located in Bulawayo whilst the Northern Region is serviced by the Nokia-Siemens Networks MSC.
He said NetOne's expansion programme is well complemented by the availability of Easycall Xtra SIM cards, which have been made available on the market.
Kangai added that the expansion drive, which NetOne is pursuing, is tailored to bring solutions to the subscribers for convenient communications. "Most of the new base stations in the rural areas are solar powered. We have strategically positioned the solar powered base stations in areas where there is no nearby national electricity grid.
"These areas include Mutawatawa, Devedzo and Sadza among others. "We are currently opening more solar powered base stations because the power problems have heavily affected our rural subscribers and these are the worst hit areas. We had to tap into other energy resources so that our subscribers are able to be connected throughout the day," he said.
"Hybrid power solutions compromising solar and wind turbines are soon going to be deployed, given that our rural base stations are located on top of high mountains where there is sufficient wind power," he said. He added: "NetOne's network expansion programme is financed from own resources. We rely on our loyal customers who continuously invest in the business by buying airtime and using our products.
"The network has not received much funding from external sources as most financing is local and we would like to thank our customers for having trust in the brand. "NetOne will continue to support them by giving them value added services such as SMS Call Me Back, Home Zone Billing and now NetOne is the only network offering per second billing on own net calls."
He would not be drawn into revealing the subscriber numbers that NetOne currently has, saying what mattered most was the quality of service that the network provided.