Telecel plans $200m investment

HARARE - Telecel Zimbabwe (Telecel) plans to invest over $200 million towards network expansion, with the group pushing for legislation that compels mobile network operators to share infrastructure.

The group — Zimbabwe’s second largest wireless network operator — said it is in negotiations with financiers and vendors for the provision of funds and capital equipment.

“We are in discussion with banks and we are looking at a further immediate investment of about $200 million and this should take us to the five million subscriber network (capacity),” Telecel’s general manager Angeline Vere told Parliament’s communication portfolio committee yesterday.

She said Telecel’s switching capacity is five million subscribers.
“We are also anticipating that our active subscriber base should be at about 3,3 million,” she said.

Vere added that they were facing challenges, which included resistance from other network operators to share infrastructure.

“Although from a regulator position there is a directive that we should share infrastructure, it seems when it comes to practicality there is some resistance. We hope there will be more stringent regulation when it comes to sharing infrastructure,” she said.

Telecel’s marketing and communications director Obert Mandimika noted that the passive infrastructure — towers, security perimeter and access roads — could be shared as it is generic but not the specific equipment of an individual operator.

“We also need to make it very clear that we are not advocating for situation where someone who has invested a lot into say towers, is now being disadvantaged. The legislation that we are really looking at should be beneficial even to the guy who has come in first to lay in that infrastructure,” he said.

“It has to be a commercial decision which makes sense to all the parties involved, but most of all, it must be a decision that benefits the country particularly from a foreign currency saving perspective,” said Mandimika.

Comments (5)

Econet should not accept this infrastructure sharing nonsense. Rather Econet should lease its equipment to Telecel (and Netone if it also wants to reap where it has not sown) at very exorbitant fees. This Telecel mentality is nothing but nonsense. Econet is working hard, busy investing in infrastructure vamwe vachinakirwa nekudya dollar, then they want to force the owner to give them his/her property so they can make more money. I think its like a neighbour trying to force you to share with him/her your car, borehole, solar panel, etc., when you bought them s/he was busy feasting with his kids. That's a new one.If they don't have infrastructure for the so called 3 million subscribers they should either acquire sufficient equipment or downsize proportionally with their equipment. Kumhanya handiko kusvika gentlemen and ladies.

mosquito - 1 July 2014

Telecel waited passively whilst Econet was putting up infrastructure. Econet did this at huge cost, and noone should now try to ask the government to force Econet to share its infrastructure with those who only want to skin and roast, but do not want to endure the rigours of hunting. Econet should resist.

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 2 July 2014

Asi nhai imi haisi conflict of interest here iyi?The vice president and members of ZEXXCOM are shareholders of Telecell. You see TELECEL is a political animal.Econet dont share with these pathetic parasites.Econet maimbonyimwa infrastructure neNetone before you built yours, iye nhasi mapolitical networks ava kudazve kukusungai mbira dzakondo, tinoti KWETE, KWETE.

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