Internet service provider ZOL Zimbabwe is targeting 100 000 clients for 2016, as it seeks to bolster its fibre products and offer customers improved Internet connectivity.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, ZOL chief executive officer, Denny Marandure said although they were targeting 100 000 new customers, the build costs had to make offering fibre feasible.
“We are targeting 100 000 customers and it also has to be congruent with our build costs [costs involved in setting up fibre system]. The challenge we are facing is that it is not a simple procedure, we would like to be everywhere providing Internet to as many homes as possible. The more clients we have, the better revenues, but the issue is for everything, we have to apply for permission,” he said.
ZOL, a subsidiary of Liquid Telecoms, which handles the retail side of operations, has been on a drive to lay fibre countrywide. Currently, ZOL has 210 wi-fi hotspots all over the country.
Marandure said the company had to pay levies for permission from city councils to dig up trenches and lay down the fibre optic cable.
He said the ICT ministry had been supporting the Internet service provider, and was hoping that the support would go towards a faster application process.
Marandure said getting permission from city councils to lay cables could take months, whereas in other countries, the procedure is a lot faster, sometimes even taking a week to seek the necessary approvals.
Upon applying, Internet service providers must pay levies in order to survey, dig and trench a fibre cable to provide Internet in a specific area.
“We have different products whereas fibre is the one offered in the city centre. It is the fastest and most reliable because it does not get affected by rain or thunder. Wimax customers are having a difficult period because of the challenges in power cuts, which affect our base stations,” Marandure said.
“If we can push fibre to the home, which is what we call ZOL Fibroniks, that would be excellent and get as many people as possible signed onto fibre.”
Fibre optic or optical fibre refers to the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information as light impulses along a glass or plastic wire or fibre.
It is used as one of the most reliable sources of Internet and allows users to enjoy fast speeds.
Liquid Telecom’s terrestrial fibre network is the largest single, contiguous network that crosses many borders in Africa.