More Africa NewsZimbabwe: Powertel will invest $570 million to extend the coverage of its fiber optic network

August 9, 2023by myles0

Zimbabwean service providers are stepping up initiatives to meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity and bridge the digital divide in the country. Last June, the telecom operator Econet announced a project to extend and modernize its network.

Powertel Communications, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA Holdings Group) specializing in the supply of Internet via fiber optics, has announced an investment of $570 million in the extension of its telecoms network over the next seven years. The initiative is expected to help improve broadband connectivity coverage in the country.

The program will take place in several phases. According to the established roadmap, Powertel intends to invest up to 355 million dollars in fixed access; 112 million in mobile access; $50 million in 4G LTE, 5G and national backbone network; $4 million in Internet of Things (IoT)… Connectivity will be provided by ZESA Holdings power lines.

According to Willard Nyagwande, Acting Managing Director of Powertel, the investment is part of the company’s strategy to improve efficiency and profits. It intervenes in a context of digital transformation marked by a strong demand for connectivity in Zimbabwe.

“  We discovered many marginalized and unconnected communities in rural areas. That is why we are working hard to improve connectivity in Zimbabwe to an acceptable level  ,” Mr. Nyagwande said.

According to the latest statistics from the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), the country has 14.05 million mobile phone subscribers for a penetration rate of 92.6%. The same source indicates that the total number of active Internet and service subscriptions is 9.9 million, representing a penetration rate of 65.4%.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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