A new telephone company, Afritell, has been formed to bring telephone services to rural and urban areas in Zimbabwe. The new company is a joint venture between a private company, Africom, and two public companies, Powertell Communications and Transmedia. It has already applied for a licence at the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to operate a fixed telephone network.

Powertell is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Authority of Zimbabwe (Zesa). The company already operates a data network and has installed fibre optic cables countrywide which will see the project roll out to distant areas. Transmedia, the national broadcasting signal carrier, owns the infrastructure and has an extensive reach, particularly in the rural areas.

Africom has another data network concern which utilises a combination of fibre cables and wireless broadband technology and a satellite system. The joint venture will allow Afritell to utilise their combined existing infrastructure to establish nation-wide telephone services that will benefit hundreds of thousands of people who at present are unable to obtain a telephone line and service in the areas.Afritell has an asset base of USD 117 million.

The Herald