TelOne targets US$300m capitalisation

Chipo Mutasa, TelOne CEO
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Fixed telecommunications operator, TelOne, says it is looking for investors to inject around US$300 million into the recapitalisation of the business.

The company has just concluded a network enhancement project, dubbed the National Broadband Project, which was funded by a US$98 million China Exim Bank loan facility.

Managing director Chipo Mtasa said the projected recapitalisation will further capacitate the company’s operations and service offerings.

“TelOne requires a lot of capitalisation. The US$98 million that has been injected is only the first phase in terms of our capitalisation.

“We have a US$300 million capitalisation plan that we would like to deploy so that we can have services right across the country,” she said.

“And so we are out there looking for funds and possibilities of raising much more so that we can deploy infrastructure and more services.”

The National Broadband Project has resulted on the modernisation of the country’s telecommunication system from its core, while other funds have gone into the deployment of new optic fibre systems and a new network system.

The project saw the implementation of the Harare -Beitbridge and Bulawayo-Beitbridge Backbone Fibre, which has resulted in about 30 percent cut in internet bandwidth landing costs.

Dr Mtasa said the recent launch of the Network Operations Centre was the culmination of the National Broadband Project.

“We are very excited to come to the end of the National Broadband Project, where the final section of it was the unveiling of the national operation network.

“It actually came about as an expansion of the scope after realising some surplus from one of the sub-projects,” said Dr Mtasa.

“From this surplus, the National Operations Centre was prioritised as TelOne is emphasising client experience as a way to augment the new technologies that we are deploying and the general performance of the business.

“This facility will allow us surveillance of our entire network so that we are proactive in addressing service issues.”

TelOne is one of 43 state-owned and parastatal companies that Government has targeted for full or partial privatisation.

Last year Treasury indicated that they were looking to raise US$300 million from the partial privatisation of both TelOne and NetOne (the state-run mobile telecommunications firm). – Herald