TelOne to spend $47m on fibre expansion

HARARE - Fixed phone operator TelOne is set to spend $47,4 million next year on fibre optic network expansion along with an additional $26,8 million on value added services for customers, a Cabinet minister said.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last week said the Chipo Mutasa-led company was going to undertake all projects in the coming year, as it focuses more on data services.

“Under the $98 million national backbone and broadband access project, already underway, TelOne will expend $47,4 million in 2017 on extending the fibre optic network to unserved areas, including upgrading the data centre and centralised national operations centre, among others.

“Using own resources, TelOne will also avail $26,8 million towards last mile connectivity, value added services equipment and facilities, all aimed at ensuring better services to clients and business growth,” Chinamasa said.

The Treasury chief also said State-owned mobile network operator, NetOne, was also going to spend $40 million in the coming year on network expansion.

“…This intervention is in addition to the NetOne network expansion phase II project where NetOne is expected to drawdown

$40 million from a China Eximbank loan to cover all the remaining works on the project,” he said.

Both companies accessed loans from China early this year for expansion and development projects.

This comes amid indications that 2016 total data usage is likely to double that of 2015.

Data released by the Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe this week showed that the total mobile data usage for the first nine months of 2016 was 5,5 billion MB (5,525.3TB) already surpassing 3,6 billion (3,682.9TB) used in 2015.

“As demand for Internet keeps increasing operators have been increasing capacity to match the demand. Equipped incoming international Internet bandwidth increased from 75,230 Mbps to reach 75,385Mbps following commissioning of an additional STM1 (155Mbps),” Potraz said.

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