INFORMATION Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, yesterday commended TelOne for the successful implementation of the $98 million national broadband network modernisation project, which is already transforming the parastatal’s operations.
Using funding which was sourced from China through Government facilitation, TelOne in March this year successfully established a $4 million state of the art data centre and rolled out a 330km fibre optic project linking Bulawayo and Beitbridge among other projects.
The investments have transformed the face of TelOne, which of late has recorded increased business with data services now contributing an average of 40 percent of the revenue for the company that used to rely on fixed telephone operations.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS operators have agreed to share infrastructure as this promotes the national interest, cost cutting and reduces duplication, Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Deputy Minister, Dr Win Mlambo has said.
“We’re deadly serious about doing the correct thing in the country. Starting with approval, the concept has been approved. We spoke to stakeholders and network operators who have anonymously agreed that it’s going to be done and it’s the correct way to do.
“It has been done elsewhere in the world to cut costs, avoid duplication and speed up roll out of networks,” said Dr Mlambo.
He said the ministry was still dealing with legal hurdles, which will show how the process will be undertaken. The Deputy Minister said the public and the private sector should know that the process will take time as necessary procedures have to be followed.
TELONE has opened a state-of-the-art client service shop in Bulawayo in a bid to improve customer care and reduce capital expenditure.
This client service shop was opened in compliance with Government’s telecommunications requirements that telecommunications companies should provide real value to their customers.
The modern shop was officially opened last Thursday by the Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Supa Mandiwanzira, who was represented by his deputy Dr Win Mlambo.
Minister Mandiwanzira said the new shop will see TelOne saving money while offering quality service.
“The Bulawayo Main Client Service shop came about through technology modernisation, which resulted in the miniaturisation of technology leaving huge redundant space in exchanges. “This innovative measure by TelOne to convert redundant space into client centres again shows strategic focus to cut costs while enhancing convenience for customers.
TelOne said the shop becomes a one-stop centre for customers where they will be getting their billings, inquiries, data services, voice services and any the company’s related matters all under one roof.
TELONE has employed about 1 500 people from Matabeleland South to lay optic fibre cables in the 330KM Bulawayo-Beitbridge Backbone Fibre project.
The project is a fruit of the mega deals signed by Zimbabwe and China in December 2015 in Harare. The parastatal has received $33 million out of a $98 million loan from the Asian economic giant. TelOne will offer the fastest internet service connections at lowest rates in the country, once the project is completed.
Cde Mandiwanzira said other local people benefited through being sub-contracted to do other jobs.
“In the process of the rollout, at least 1 500 casual jobs for the local communities have been created. This is direct empowerment that we require and encourage all our contractors each time we have projects of this nature being implemented. We are keen on these projects as we are on the drive to ensure that Zimbabweans are empowered through employment creation and also virtual connections through the best internet at the lowest possible cost.”
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