Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter
ZESA Holdings’ subsidiary Powertel has become the first company to have fibre connectivity via Botswana. The power utility also plans to roll out a $32 million fibre optic backbone network project set to improve the country’s connectivity. The project is expected to start next year and requires the installation of around 1 850km of cable with surveys already been completed.
In an interview with The Herald Business, ZESA Holdings spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira confirmed the development.
He said Powertel was the first company to connect through Seacom which is a submarine cable operator with a network of submarine and terrestrial high speed fibre-optic cable that serves the East and West coasts of Africa. Seacom’s reach extends to and from Europe, India and Asia.
“Powertel has introduced advanced technology which delivers affordable services to Zimbabwe. There has been an increase in network capacity to support the internet demands of the nation,” said Mr Gwasira.
He said Powertel has spread its wings to small towns and selected remote areas in terms of service access.
“We have a new voice service 08611 giving the most affordable voice solution to the nation. We will complete our interconnection shortly.
“We have also introduced E-Vending for prepaid electricity services to the nation thereby increasing access and convenience through technology,” he said.
“Powertel contributes to the ZimAsset pillars of infrastructure, utilities and value addition.”
Mr Gwasira said in terms of network capacity upgrade, Powertel has upgraded from STM16 to STM 64 and also increased distribution through ZETDC and third party channels.
He said Powertel has optimized base stations thus delivering high speed broadband. Powertel has added more back up access to ensure reliable internet connectivity to customers.
Mr Gwasira said current upgrades are happening on IMS core network which is an architectural framework for delivering IP multimedia services. Historically, mobile phones have provided voice call services over a switched-circuit-style network, rather than strictly over an IP packet-switched network.
He said the move will enable an improved service quality and improved electricity accessibility.