Zimbabwe’s TelOne is expanding its network coverage at the same time as it is fighting the country’s government over unpaid bills worth US$2.6 million.
The company has hired Indian vendor Tejas Networks to build a 100Gbps fibre network to improve bandwidth to customers.
Chipo Mtasa (pictured), managing director of TelOne, said: “With the rising demand for bandwidth and higher speeds from our customers, we were looking for a versatile solution that could significantly expand the capacity on our existing fibre network with incremental investments.”
Meanwhile she and her colleagues in TelOne are trying to persuade the government of Zimbabwe to pay its phone bills.
According to the company’s first quarter report, TelOne’s unpaid bills total $4.3 million, of which the government owes $2.6 million — just over 60% of the sum.
According to reports from Harare, TelOne has to meet its own tax bills in addition to paying for expansion plans to compete against Econet Wireless and Telecel. TelOne estimates that it will need to invest $25 million each year for the next five years to strengthen its network and achieve quality national coverage.
Some of that will go to Tejas Networks, whose CEO, Sanjay Nayak, said: “Our solution empowers our customers to diversify their existing DWDM vendor base and use our proven, cost-effective solution to expand and interoperate.”
Mtasa said: “We were impressed by the capabilities of the Tejas solution and its ability to seamlessly carry 100G services with no interoperability issues.”