NetOne secures $485m

NYANGA - State-owned mobile telecommunications operator, NetOne, is set to access over $400 million from the China Exim Bank next year, for a project expected to put 3 000 base stations online.

The company’s acting chief executive, Brian Mutandiro, on Monday said the money was being accessed from Chinese president Xi Jinping’s $60 billion Development Projects Fund for African countries announced last year in South Africa at the China-Africa conference.

“The interest rate for the money is two percent, its long-term concessionary and you cannot get it anywhere in the world. In southern Africa we are the second network able to access the money

“The papers have already been signed and government has guaranteed the loan. We will be getting the money in instalments as we roll out the projects,” Mutandiro said.

He was speaking on the side-lines of the launch of NetOne’s base station trail dubbed the “Igniting Mbiri Yedu Trail” which kicked off with setting up a base station in Nyanga on Monday.

The acting NetOne boss said the group targeted to have set up 2 300 base stations by September this year, as part of a $218 million investment, adding 2 190 base stations had already been erected since January.

“In Phase One, we invested about $45 million which was from 2010 to 2013. Phase Two which will be completed by September will see an additional 2 300 stations going online with an additional 3 000 to be constructed in 2017 under Phase Three with a $485 million investment from the Chinese government,” he said.

In Phase Two, NetOne — which received equipment valued at over $160 million from China — expanded its infrastructure network across the country following the $218 million loan from China Exim Bank.

Mutandiro said the programme was aimed at increasing the group’s subscriber base from the present 4,3 million to at least five million by end of September, adding the investments were also expected to boost revenues which stood at $48,5 million as at May 31, 2016.

“Revenues continue to look up, obviously we are within an economy where there is compressed liquidity and the shortage of cash… even with those constraints we are able to register positive growth

“Our daily revenues are now close to $400 000 per day as we get new subscribers, like I indicated that this year alone, we have registered a million new subscribers and I think that within the next month or so we will hit the five million mark, but as we continue to grow obviously revenues will continue to grow,” he said.

This comes as NetOne’s gross profit to May under review surged to $34 million from $29 million registered in May 2015 on the back of cost reduction.

To date, Phase Two has seen NetOne having the widest fourth generation (4G) technology Long Term Evolution (LTE) and is targeting to double its subscriber base to eight million by end of 2017.

Comments (1)

Happy to borrow from Chinese con men than to self fund thru diamonds!! Kupururudzira chikwereti....zvotyisa izvi!

Dhewa - 29 August 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.