In December last year, TelOne revealed that it had only connected some 2,600 subscribers to the ADSL since it launched the service earlier in the year. The growth has been slow. And a report yesterday shows things are still moving a bit too slowly in the ADSL division of the state owned fixed line operator. The company revealed through New Ziana that it now has some 8,600 subscribers .
The number of subscribers if half the ADSL capacity TelOne says it has – 16,000 lines. According to the report, the company plans to increase capacity to 38,000. The time period for that increase is not specified, with just an indication that the expansion plans are underway. We expected TelOne to have signed up many more than 8,600 subscribers, especially after reports this year that the service is now available in more cities and towns.
TelOne acting managing director Hampton Mhlanga recently told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Media Information and Communication that the company has “almost 350,000 fixed and wireless lines working against an installed capacity of 401,500”. The current number active ADSL subscribers therefore just represents 2.5% of the TelOne’s total phone subscribers.
The problems affecting TelOne are many. From a skills shortage, to customers not settling their bills (the biggest defaulter being the government itself), obsolete machinery, allegations of mismanagement, and the continued assault from mobile operators. Specifically Telecel and Econet. NetOne, the government owned mobile operator is having its own issues.