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TelOne gets the edge it needs with latest alliance

By , Zimbabwe correspondent
Zimbabwe , 14 May 2021

Zimbabwe state-owned telecommunications firm TelOne has partnered with Bangalore-based Tejas Networks to establish a 100Gbps fibre network and bolster its bandwidth capacity.

The Zimbabwe telco also released a statement in which it confirmed the agreement, adding that it had selected to partner with Tejas Networks following a robust bidding process and a field trial.

TelOne Managing Director Chipo Mtasa did not disclose details of who the other bidders were and said: “With rising demand for bandwidth and higher speeds from our customers we are looking for a versatile solution that could significantly expand the capacity on our existing fibre network with incremental investment.”

She added, “We were impressed by the capabilities of the Tejas solution and its ability to seamless carry 100G service with no interoperability issues.”

Tejas Networks 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.”

Zimbabwe’s government remains resolute in its desire to partially dispose of TelOne and NetOne. ICT experts believe US$300-million would secure both companies.

TelOne is one of several parastatals scheduled to go under the hammer in accordance with the government’s privatisation drive announced in 2018. However, the process has stalled because the companies have struggled to pay for advisory services and have failed to attract prospective investors.

According to its financial report, in the first quarter TelOne’s unpaid bills amounted to US$4.3-million, of which the government owes US$2.6-million or about 60% of the total sum.

TelOne is in negotiation with the government over settlement of the outstanding accounts.

Local economist Persistence Gwanyanya, a member of Zimbabwe’s monetary policy committee, said the partnership with Tejas Networks would likely give TelOne an edge over competitors, but that the company would still be required to invest more in the long-term to fully strengthen its network.

“The company will need to invest US$25-million each year for the next five years to strengthen its network and achieve quality national coverage,” said Gwanyanya.

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