TelOne shelves plans to enter mobile telecoms sector for now


Tel One chief executive officer, Chipo Mutasa

TEL- One expects to receive the long awaited US$98 million Chinese loan in the next six to 12 months as all requirements have now been fulfilled, Tel One chief executive officer, Chipo Mutasa has said.

In an interview, Mutasa said the parastatal would continue to source capital for progressive modernization and innovation.

“We are expecting to receive the US$98 million Chinese loan in the next six to 12 months. You have to understand it’s a long process; however all the documentation is in and we are very optimistic.

“After the $98mln we will need to get more funding progressively every year to address modernization and bring in new competitive products on to the market,” she said.

Mutasa said Tel One would for now not to utilize its mobile operating license as the sector is no longer viable as before.

“The mobile telecoms market is now saturated; everyone now has a mobile phone. There are some that say we are sitting on a gold mine; however our market survey is not showing us the gold.

“Furthermore the Telecommunications sector is becoming more converged; it is no longer about mobility alone, but other integrated services. It is important to also note that POTRAZ is now offering converged licensing. We believe broadband and data is the way to go as we operate a solid backbone for internet
bandwidth,” she said.

Mutasa said Tel One supports government in its bid to promote infrastructure sharing as this will allow the state owned enterprise to benefit from its investment.

“Infrastructure sharing will work out for the benefit of everyone in the sector; if the parameters are clearly spelt out. Of course it should be on a win-win basis, we also need to be mindful of the investment that has gone into the sector. Needless to say, we are already sharing infrastructure in various areas.

“As Tel One, we feel players in the sector have taken advantage of us as we have extensive infrastructure underground and other players just came and plugged in without paying anything to Tel One.
“We eagerly await the infrastructure sharing parameters so that we can also benefit from our investment,” she said. FinX