HomeNewsChina extends $218 million loan facility to NetOne

China extends $218 million loan facility to NetOne

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THE Chinese government has approved a $218 million loan facility that will see State-owned mobile telecommunications operator NetOne expanding its base stations.

By Victoria Mtomba
Business Reporter

Speaking on the sidelines of the public sector Information and Communications Technology (ICT) forum in Harare yesterday, NetOne managing director Reward Kangai said the project would provide 2G base stations, 3G and 4G Internet at high speed.

“The $218 million from China will be implemented by Huawei Technologies this year. The loan agreement has been approved by the government of China and what is left is the signing of the final agreement and we expect to start by the second half of this year,”Kangai said.

He said the court challenge by South Africa-based businessman Tafadzwa Muguti where the latter questioned the awarding of the tender to Huawei had since been dropped, paving the way for continuation of the project.

TelOne managing director Chipo Mtasa said the company would be working with Huawei for the $14 million Bulawayo-Beitbridge backbone project.

Mtasa said the government signed a blanket agreement with Huawei and they had worked with the Chinese company for the installation of the backbone for Mutare-Harare and Harare-Bulawayo.

“We will be doing Bulawayo-Beitbridge and we will look for development financiers for the project. The project will replace obsolete equipment and enhance access to the network,” she said.

Speaking at the same event, Vice-President Joice Mujuru hailed the partnership between China and Zimbabwe and Huawei.

“The collaborative relationship between TelOne and NetOne and Huawei will be guided by the new ICT policy framework that is currently under review,” she said.
Mujuru said the draft policy would cover ICT challenges in Zimbabwe, ICT infrastructure, e-government, e-governance, e-education and various other sectors such as agriculture, tourism and health.

“Huawei Technologies offer opportunities to other firms to increase value of their technologies through providing content, application and services,” she said.

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