Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is today expected to commission the multi-million-dollar TelOne fibre optic link in Beitbridge.
The link connects Beitbridge with Bulawayo, Harare, Masvingo and the rest of the country.
It was constructed by TelOne in partnership with the China Exim Bank as part of the expansion of the national broadband networks and enhancing efficient communication countrywide.
The investment would make Zimbabwe an information communication technology (ICT) hub in Southern Africa.
Matabeleland South Provincial Administrator Mrs Sithandiwe Ncube yesterday said the stage had been set for the President’s visit.
“We are ready to roll. The stage has been set and we have mobilised enough resources to make this event a great success.
“All stakeholders are putting final touches to the venue in line with their respective responsibilities,” she said.
By end of day yesterday workers from various Government departments were still at the venue putting final touches ahead of today’s event.
The coming in of the fibre optic link is expected to reduce operating costs for the network provider (TelOne) by 40 percent.
The benefits are expected to cascade to consumers.
The Herald understands that at the moment TelOne is receiving traffic directly from Mozambique which then links with Mutare, Harare and Bulawayo.
The new initiative will connect traffic directly from South Africa through Beitbridge, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Harare and brings the much needed services in Zimbabwe at affordable prices and high speed.
The coming in of the new communication link is also expected to enhance the expansion of TelOne’s network in Beitbridge town and enhance Government’s thrust to the roll out of e-services for its departments and ministries.
It will also ensure connectivity between the country’s border towns as well as enhance e-Government, which is currently being implemented at various levels.
Meanwhile, Government is also working on introducing 5G commercial network to enhance advanced speed in mobile broadband.
The 5G broadband is the generation of broadband cellular network technology succeeding the current 4G, and has additional packages at advanced speed.
At present the country uses 3G (voice, text and data) and 4G (voice, text, advanced data and internet) networks. The 5G generation will likely be rolled out in 2020.