BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
STATE-OWNED telecoms operator, TelOne is seeking funding to deploy fibre network to over 100 000 homes in the next five years under the National Broadband Phase II project, as it moves to counter network vandalism.
This was revealed by TelOne chairperson Douglas Zimbango in Bulawayo on Thursday.
“It is with much delight that I share our plans to roll out fibre network and LTE (long term evolution) service which, besides countering network vandalism, will also improve service quality,” Zimbango said as the firm launched a new client experience centre in Bulawayo.
“To complement what we have already started, we will be prioritising Hillside (in Bulawayo) for the technology upgrade such that the client experience transformation is comprehensive.
“We will be well positioned to grow our market share, which we are targeting to reach 25% by the end of next year.
“This upgrade is part of the bigger plan that we are pursuing and we are currently seeking funding with a target to deploy fibre network to 100 000 home service lines in the next five years as well as 150 000 LTE lines in the next three years under the National Broadband Phase II project,” he said.
He did not reveal how much funding TelOne required for the project.
However, in the first phase, TelOne invested US$98,6 million through a facility from China Exim Bank.
“It is our conviction that TelOne has positioned itself for the future with a robust backbone infrastructure.
“It is now essential that we continue to consolidate and strengthen service provision leveraging the network to offer more value added services and explore more around the internet of things (IoT).”
“You will continue to hear about us in the market making noise about new products in this regard.
“Already we are on a roll with the Teltrack and Telematics products.
‘This is the kind of solution we would like to offer our clients beyond just bringing the connectivity.”
Zimbango said the launch of the Bulawayo Data Centre was profound in that it was the only facility of that sort in Bulawayo.
The company has invested more than US$4 million on the project.
“Our customers who are largely banks and financial organisations, telecommunication providers, private companies, government departments, and a range of information technology service providers will enjoy highly customisable, fully managed, and secure disaster recovery hosting for carrier-grade IT resiliency,” he said.
Furthermore, the company has also partnered a total of 12 banks to facilitate online payments for clients’ convenience, especially at a time the world is battling Covid-19.
Information Communication Technology minister Jenfan Muswere said the upgraded data centre should help TelOne secure 25% revenue market share, development of 10 new data centric products and services, reduction in overhead expenses and infrastructure expansion and sharing.
“Specific to market share growth, I am sure your renewed focus on client experience will be helpful together with other key investments that are required.
“I want to urge you to continuously be on the hunt for modern strategies to market TelOne and surpass all your targets.
“The convenience that you are bringing to clients is one such strategy,” he said.