TechnoMag staff

As the battle for dominance in the IAP sector continues, Powertel has set its sights on expansion and growth in its infrastructure, smart strategic partnerships as well as utilisation of existent synergies within the ZESA group of companies and ICT sector operators in order to strengthen their market position. What makes it interesting in the closer synopsis of this company is that the state owned telecommunications company has defied all odds by keeping competition ontheir toes through its provision of reliable and competing telecommunications solutions.

In addition to creating a robust optical fibre network on ZESA’s inter-city transmission pylons, PowerTel is actively digging trenches and burying optical fibre creating an associated underground optical landscape in Zimbabwe’s cities and towns.

The organisation has been at the forefront of bringing high speed corporate internet, convenience and reliability in the transmission of data through the optic fibre network, for the efficient use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) in Zimbabwe.

The company is one of the few IAPs that offers redundancy on their Internet platform. The company boosted its network capacity and performance by upgrading its fibre backbone from STM16 to STM 64 in order to meet the bandwidth needs of a data for the ever-growing demanding market.

Recently the company introduced Professional (Managed) services in response to the ever-changing market dictates.

Research carried out recently have proven that the Powertel brand has been synonymous with reliability, speed and dedicated service with perceptions of better quality of services to the market.

For over 15 years now, Powertel has dominated in the provision of internet and connectivity solutions to most companies; Telecoms, ICTs, ISPs and IAPs; financial institutions, banking sector, finance houses, insurance companies; Government, municipality and parastatals; health sector mining sector, manufacturing and production; retail sector, education institutions (universities and polytechnic colleges); churches, transport and shipping organisations, motoring sector, hospitality, SMEs and others.

In fact, the company has carried all the major telecoms and listed companies in the country and continues to do so to this day, earning it the nickname, “Carrier of Carriers”.

Professional (managed) services include Domain and Email hosting, LAN installations and LAN audits and maintenance.

The corporate has moved to providing professional (managed) services in response to changing market dictates as the market now rates service providers based on services offered and not just the ability to provide access or connectivity solution.

In recent years, companies have resorted to cost-cutting and downsizing measures, some of which have affected their internal ICT support functions.

This has seen the rise in outsourcing these services, with a one-stop shop provider being the ideal.

Furthermore, the prevalence and growth of SME sector, some who prefer not to set up internal IT support, has seen the rise in demand for the one-stop-shop facility.

The Powertel corporate business portfolio includes the following:

Corporate Internet;

Virtual Private Networking;

Carrier (as the “Carrier of Carriers”);

Professional services;

Fixed voice solution(08611);

E Vending services.

Some of the above products have become a basic standard offered by most IAPs in Zimbabwe.

The differentiating factor has become the services offered to support these products, with speed, reliability, quality of service and contention levels being determining factors on superiority in the provision of the products.

Overally, the IAP sector is predicted to grow driven by increased demand for data and internet by local consumers prompting local operators to increase their capacities for international bandwidth.

This comes on the back of positive performance of the IAP sector in terms of revenue growth and investment as reported by the industry regulator — Potraz in the Q3 & Q4 of 2015 Sector Performance reports.

In 2015, Powertel increased its backhaul to STM64 and also upgraded its capacities for the Harare- Plumtree and Harare-Mutare routes.

The value added premise is that with bigger capacity comes better performance, improved services and more choices.

Given that the Zimbabwe internet penetration rate is estimated at 48,1 percent as of Q4 2015, there is greater window of opportunity for internet business now and into the future.

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