Press Release: Telecel announces $200m deal – moves to close coverage gap and introduce LTE

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Press release sent to Techzim by Telecel Zimbabwe:

HARARE – MAY 17, 2017The Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Honourable Supa Mandiwanzira has announced that Telecel will be unveiling LTE and expanding the mobile company’s network coverage through a government brokered  $200m finance deal.

Speaking at a briefing cocktail held in Harare, Hon Mandiwanzira told guests that the government, 60% majority shareholder, was working closely with Telecel to put finishing touches to the $200 million finance package which will help the network upgrade its infrastructure and introduce new technologies like LTE.

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“At this stage, negotiations and discussions are ongoing with financiers for an investment of over USD 200 million to kick-start the Telecel project.  More details of this funding will be communicated in due course.  This funding will go a long way in ensuring that the Company rolls out new technologies to meet subscriber needs,” said the Minister Mandiwanzira.

The minister also revealed at the same briefing that Telecel was already upgrading the network and that the company was continually improving its network but that the expected capital injection would allow the mobile operator to introduce LTE 4.5G.

“I am aware that the company has already commenced the network upgrades necessary to close the identified and well-known gaps in its service provision and will also be rolling out its 4.5G LTE infrastructure by the third quarter of 2017,” added the Nyanga legislator.

Telecel has had issues around its licensing and shareholding and failure to comply with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act which the minister has said are now resolved following the acquisition of 60% majority shares by the government.

“We are all aware that in the past three or so years, Telecel’s existence was clouded with uncertainty due to issues to do with licensing, shareholding and non-compliance with the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act.  This state of affairs led some into questioning and doubting the Company’s future.  As a result some of Telecel customers jumped ship during this period of turbulence.

“It is with great pleasure that I stand before you this evening, to announce that Telecel has turned a corner and those issues are well behind the vibrant red brand and to assure you that the Company’s  future is bright orange.  I am here to proudly declare that the Government, which is the new majority shareholder in Telecel is very keen to support any initiatives that will position the Company as a vibrant, successful and profitable entity,” said the Minister.

The minister also added that the Infrastructure Regulations SI 137 of November 2016 enable infrastructure sharing to limit duplication and gear investment toward product innovation and better customer service in the country and in particular, in underserved and remote areas.

“Telecel supports this Government’s position on infrastructure sharing and even prior to the promulgation of the SI 137 Infrastructure Regulations we were already working with other operators in identifying and sharing infrastructure,” said Telecel CEO, Mrs Angeline Vere on the side-lines of the event.

One of the main products featured prominently at the briefing was MegaBonus. Telecel recently reintroduced MegaBonus during this year’s ZITF, the service gives Telecel prepaid customers 100% voice bonus for all airtime denominations of a $1 or more.

Orphan Angeline Vere is the Chief Executive Officer of Telecel Zimbabwe, a post to which she was appointed to in mid-June 2015 while she had been "acting" since March 2013 when Francis Mawindi departed from the organisation. She has been part of Telecel since 2004. Read More

Supa Collins Mandiwanzira is a Zimbabwean politician, journalist and entrepreneur. He is the current Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services in the Republic of Zimbabwe. Mandiwanzira is the founder of Zimbabwe's only privately owned radio station, ZiFM Stereo through his company, AB Communications. An internationally acclaimed journalist, Mandiwanzira rose to national prominence in the 2000s when he became the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Reuters correspondent. He is known for having hosted business shows on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC-TV) such as Talking Business With Supa. Following his party, the ZANU-PF's victory at the July 2013 elections, Mandiwanzira was appointed Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services. Mandiwanzira is a past president of the black empowerment organisation, the Affirmative Action Group (AAG). Read More

Telecel Zimbabwe is a telecommunications services provider with most of its services in the mobile cellular network services. The company is owned jointly by the Empowerment Corporation (40%) and Vimpelcom (60%), one of the largest telecoms companies in the world. In Zimbabwe, Telecel is the second largest mobile network after Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Telecel Zimbabwe is headquartered in the capital Harare and has more than twenty branches countrywide. Read More

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2 Comments

  1. Macd Chip says:

    Its Mega Deals announcement time as we move closer to elections!!
    Every goverment department wants to be seen as doing something and every minister want to show success for each ministry they run

  2. So What says:

    I think I’m missing something. Is this a government announcement or a telecel company announcement. is supa now the new co CEO at telecel together with mai vere. now the minister is actively involved in the day to day running of telecel very soon telecel will be the ICT minister.
    I don’t ready much into this deal the digitalisation deal was the talk of the day when it was announced but what did come out of it, missed targets after missed targets is the order of the day.
    the net one deal is dogged with problems then comes this new deal to turn vibrant red into bright orange kkkkkkk

    I stand to be proved wrong.

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