Telone to invest US$90 million for Expansion in Zimbabwe

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Fixed telecommunications operator, TelOne will invest US$90 million in new projects particularly in data, managing director Mrs Chipo Mtasa said. Mtasa said the money was part of the company's budget set aside towards developing new projects. "We are currently conducting feasibility studies on most of our projects but the way we want to grow as TelOne is that we need to focus on our data business.

"The US$90 million budgeted for new projects will not be used in 2014 alone but will expand into 2015, because we want to employ cost cutting initiatives as effective as possible," Mrs Mtasa said.

She said a lot of discussions are currently underway to refine the scope of the projects.

Mrs Mtasa said the company will continue to set up more one stop shops around the country in order to increase sales for voice and broadband services.

"The decision to set up the shops countrywide is part of company efforts to bring its services closer to customers.

"We agreed that TelOne should be closer to its clients where everything will be monitored and recorded from the Head Office," she said.

Mrs Mtasa also said the company is still owed millions of dollars and they hope by the end of the first six months of 2014 all the debts would have been collected. Defaulting customers owe the company over US$200 million.

The issue of unsettled accounts has affected the uptake of other TelOne services like ADSL, as initially customers were not allowed to subscribe for new services until they settled all outstanding debts.

According to the latest statistics from the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe fixed line subscriber numbers in Zimbabwe fell to 301 650 from 325 000.