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NetOne looks to 4G to push up subscriber numbers

By , ITWeb
Zimbabwe , 10 Jul 2017

NetOne looks to 4G to push up subscriber numbers

On the back of its US$218 million second phase of development, completed in September 2016, Zimbabwe's state-owned mobile network operator NetOne has announced it will embark on the third phase of its capital expansion programme to the tune of half a billion dollars.

According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) during the last quarter of 2016, NetOne had over 5,8 million active subscribers and was positioned as the second largest mobile network operator after Econet Wireless with 10 million.

Based on the number of active mobile subscriptions, Econet had 49,4% market share, while NetOne and Telecel had 36,6% and 14% respectively.

NetOne is looking to leverage its 4G LTE infrastructure to increase its subscriber base to 8 million by the end of this year.

The mobile firm believes its 3rd phase will result in this increase and will boost its revenue which currently stands at US$115 million.

NetOne also registered a 65,3% growth in LTE from 1 310 in the previous quarter to the current 2 165, according to Potraz.

The mobile operator's massive expansion programme has been backed by the China Exim Bank facility, which, according to NetOne acting Chief Executive Brian Mutandiro, is only a portion of the finance available for the expansion project - the Zimbabwe government will also inject some capital in the programme, he said.

According Mutandiro the company has also received funding from Chinese president Xi Jinping's US$60 billion Development Project Fund for African countries announced last year in South Africa at the China-Africa conference.

"The coming massive programme to be rolled-out will target the latest broadband technology and rural areas where currently internet penetration is low," said ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira.

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