TelOne wants to increases its subscriber base to a million

Telecoms

Zimbabwe’s fixed telephone operator, TelOne wants to increase its subscribers base to one million up from 350,000 once it completes the upgrading of its systems which is under way.

The upgrading exercise is being undertaken under a multi-million dollar deal with Huawei International and Alcatel Lucent.

Speaking at the sidelines of the Managing Director's Sports Gala held at Chaplin High School in Gweru, TelOne managing director, Hampton Mhlanga said the upgrading was being undertaken in phases and the first phase was expected to be completed at the end of this month.

The initial stages involved laying an optic fibre link connecting major cities and towns. It has already covered Harare-Mutare route and the southern part link is almost reaching Bulawayo. A $58 million deal with Huawei International is already on the cards to further expand ADSL to the rest of Zimbabwe. This is the work that will expand the subscribers' base to one million.

Mhlanga also bemoaned loss of skilled manpower which resulted in poor service and as such the company's subscribers' base fell to 350,000 from 450,000. Meanwhile, TelOne is owed over $250 million in outstanding bills by defaulting subscribers and the organisation has extended an olive branch to enable clearance of outstanding bills.