STATE-OWNED telecoms operator, TelOne, is projecting a 10% increase in revenue to $130 million this year, buoyed by the network modernisation project.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
TelOne has begun the roll-out of the national broadband project network under the $98 million China Eximbank facility.
The facility arose after Zimbabwe and China signed an agreement for the loan during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in December 2015.
Part of the modernisation plan entails replacing the company’s entire network and embarking on a backbone fibre optic transmission and broadband access project, which is integral to the telecom firm’s bid to become a fully-fledged technological company, offering enhanced data services above its traditional voice service.
In emailed responses to NewsDay, the company’s corporate communications manager, Melody Harry, said this year, their main focus would be on the implementation of the parastatal’s $98m national broadband project.
“This will result in the transformation of technology and services offered by the company to a modern and prepaid platform,” she said.
“We will also continue to harness our growth through increasing the broadband customer base by a target of at least 20% and a consequent broadband revenue increase of at least 15%.”
Harry said an overall revenue increase of 10% was targeted for 2017 from $120m in 2016 to $130m.
She, however, said the telecom firm has also been affected by the harsh operating environment, which has seen a decline in its revenues.
“However, we have been able to sustain the implementation of our business transformation strategy seeing the company holding fort and steadily moving to become a competitive telecommunications service provider in the market,” Harry said.
Key among their strategic interventions, that have helped to strengthen the company, include growing the broadband customer base and consequent increase of broadband revenue contribution to more than 30% of the company’s total revenue, she said.
Harry said the company had also propped up efforts to reduce costs to respond to the declining revenues.
As a result of these efforts, operating costs have declined by more than 10% over prior year, she said.
Harry said the company had also increased momentum in terms of customer experience, with various initiatives such as the new mobile application and online payments being introduced for the convenience of customers.
TelOne has a total broadband capacity of 105 000 ADSL and fibre to the Home combined and this is targeted to grow by 100% in 2017, she said.
“With the roll-out of the modernisation project, TelOne broadband capacity is expected to reach 250 000 by 2018.”
TelOne has a total of 1 815 permanent and contract employees combined.