Demand for telecom services is accelerating in Zimbabwe. The public operator TelOne is stepping up investments to improve its capacities and respond effectively to this growing demand.
TelOne, the Zimbabwean public fixed telecommunications operator, inaugurated a new data center in Mazowe, north of the capital Harare, on Thursday 24 March. At an estimated cost of 4 million USD, the infrastructure brings to four the number of TelOne data centers in the country with its 34 racks installed on an area of 1,300 m². It was built in partnership with local company Tendo Electronics and Power Engineering.
According to Jenfan Muswere, Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, this infrastructure reinforces Zimbabwe’s sovereignty in terms of data storage. “ This is a valuable commodity in the global market and it is kept within our borders for use by our people to bring value to the nation as a whole. Currently, more than 88% of international traffic is transferred to the United States and Europe ,” he said.
In 2020, the Zimbabwean government announced plans to expand Mazowe Earth Station with a new data center to be operated by TelOne in partnership with the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA). This investment is part of the actions undertaken by the government to strengthen the presence of the public company in the Zimbabwean telecoms market, which is currently facing increased growth in demand for connectivity. In February 2021, the company signed an agreement with Eutelsat to bring broadband connectivity to households and businesses located in rural areas of the country.
TelOne’s data center should make it possible to strengthen the telecom capacities of the operator, which is until now the only provider of fixed terrestrial services in the country. The new facility is also expected to help tackle Zimbabwe’s overreliance on foreign countries for storing its data. “ The TelOne Data Center allows entrepreneurs and businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to produce and distribute local content through local resources, thereby reducing our load on undersea cables as a landlocked country ,” Mr. Muswere added.