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Zimbabwe: Telone Rolls Out Metro Wifi

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STATE-owned Telecommunications company, TelOne has rebranded and introduced Metro Wifi Service and Fibre to the Home (FTTH) services.

The new product will see the price of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) of data tumbling by 90%.

FTTH, also called fibre to the premises, is the installation and use of optic fibre from a central point directly to individual buildings such as residences, apartment buildings and businesses to provide unprecedented high-speed internet access. Metro Wifi service is a public service that is currently available at several sites in Harare and will be rolled-out to 60 more sites, including Bulawayo.

Speaking at the TelOne rebranding launch in Harare on Thursday, TelOne managing director Chipo Mutasa said the new logo and services indicated the new direction taken by the company towards becoming a one-stop shop of choice for all communication services in Zimbabwe.

“This ceremony marks the start of many milestones ahead for TelOne as we embark on the journey to evolve telecommunication services in Zimbabwe,” Mutasa said.

“To our clients, I would like to assure you of cost-effective and quality service through TelOne. We are committed to delivering a world-class service and to provide tailor-made communication solutions for business, social interaction or entertainment anywhere in Zimbabwe.”

She said Metro Wifi had been installed at Mupedzanhamo market, TelOne Centre for Learning, Julius Nyerere Way, Runhare House, Cleveland House, Roadport, Montague Heights [TelOne shop], Harare Show Grounds, TelOne shop [Joina City] and TelOne shop in Borrowdale, among others.

“With Metro Wifi, people are no longer bound to their homes or office as internet connection access is available at many locations in their cities or towns,” Mutasa said.

“The Wifi networks are deployed both indoors and outdoors where people congregate, from restaurants, cafés, bus stations, restaurants, malls, residential flats to malls. All sorts of Wifi, including laptops, personal digital assistants and voice over internet protocol phones can be connected.”

She said TelOne deployed fibre in several suburbs around Harare. These included Mt Pleasant Heights, Madokero, Westgate, Zimre Park and Ruwa, with these areas alone having the capacity to connect over 15 000 homes.

 Mutasa said the FTTH project had been extended to areas that include Norton, Ngezi and Zvishavane, while many more areas are in the pipeline. The FTTH deployment was supported by the vast TelOne high speed fibre networks across Zimbabwe. Bandwidth for the provision of internet service was through WIOCC (Africa’s carriers’ carrier).

“For this service, optical fibre is installed up to the customer premises instead of traditional copper network. Customers will enjoy high speed broadband internet service ranging from 1Mbps to as high as 100Mbps,” she said.

“FTTH promises connection speeds of up to 100Mbps: 20 to 100 times as fast as a typical cable modem or DSL [Digital Subscriber Line].”

Speaking at the same event, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira said the transformation of TelOne was in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) to deliver services to the people and to develop infrastructure.

He said internet had drastically changed the way people communicated and any serious communication company should realise and adapt to this or face extinction.

“The fact that a 10% increase in broadband penetration yields 1,38% to GDP justifies the need to invest in ICTs to drive economic development, and this is one of the key pillars of the Zim Asset economic blueprint,” Mandiwanzira said.

“The Metro Wifi service is going to be offered at 10% of the current prices. It doesn’t make sense to deploy services at Mupedzanhamo but one has got to make the service affordable.”

He questioned the high tariffs charged by other telecoms companies in Zimbabwe, describing them as ridiculous.

“Metro Wifi service is not a product for the affluent but for the informal market and TelOne is going to tap into the $7 billion that is currently circulating in the informal sector,” Mandiwanzira said.

He said there was need for TelOne to deploy its services to rural areas in order to serve the whole nation.


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