TelOne expects $98mln Chinese loan in March

TelOne expects $98mln Chinese loan in March

BULAWAYO, January 8 (The Source)—Zimbabwe’s state owned fixed line mobile operator TelOne says it will start drawing down the $98 million loan facility from China’s Exim Bank to finance its network modernisation programme by the end of this quarter.

Zimbabwe and China signed an agreement for the loan in December last year during the visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In an emailed response to The Source on Friday, TelOne spokesperson Melody Harry said the firm was finalising arrangements to access the loan, which is key to its network modernisation plans.

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 telco’s bid to become a fully-fledged technological company, offering enhanced data services above its traditional voice service.

“We are looking forward to the modernisation of our network including the continuation of the exchange digitalisation programme, expansion of the backbone fibre network and introduction of a number of value added services, which will be unveiled in due course,” she said.

Harry said the revamped network would help TelOne consolidate its market share after it launched new products last year.

“A number of new products, which include public wifi and fibre to the home were some of the major highlights during the year, which we are looking forward to consolidate and strengthen on monetisation (of those products) this year,” she said.