TelOne begins US$98 million network project, promises better services, new products like social media bundles

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

Zimbabwean fixed telecoms provider, TelOne has already started work on its US$98 million network modernisation project and over the next one and a half to two years it will be upgrading its exchanges and entire network to offer its subscribers better services.

The project, financed through a US$98.6 million facility secured from China through the China Exim Bank was negotiated with China through TelOne’s owner the Zimbabwean government. It has taken a while for the project to actually take off with the contract for this network upgrade having been awarded to Huawei back in 2010.

In a statement released on the National Broadband (NBB) Project, TelOne highlighted how the upgrades to exchanges under the project would be accompanied by new area codes and phone numbers for its subscribers.

According to the information provided by TelOne, the project will have a bearing on quality of service delivery through improvements to areas like its billing system, the quality of voice calls, faster internet speeds, toll-free services and interactive voice response services.

In terms of infrastructure, the project’s first phase which started in late 2016 is expected to upgrade links between cities and towns, specifically an upgrade of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls link,  the Mutare-Harare-Bulawayo-Plumtree transmission and the Harare–Mutare network.

Other infrastructure upgrades include the setting up of Data Centres for Harare and Mazoe, the core network upgrade and the deployment of a prepaid billing system.

There’s also the promise of a wider product lineup through bundled services, an integration of voice and data services under one account and social media bundles.

TelOne is betting heavily on this project to lead its efforts at gearing itself as a solid competitor in a broadband space dominated by active mobile network operators. With any luck it just might achieve that, shaping it into a converge services network that can offer increased competition which benefits consumers.


  1. Muti

    So the old analogue stations in rural areas will remain the same? No big change here as ADSL is not comeing to the poor

    1. Macd Chip

      If you look at how adsl works then you can understand that is is not a technology for rural or or place far away from CO. The distance from CO(central office) to the customer home must not be more than 5km. Central Office houses dslam router which then connects back to the Central Exchange via fibre, and all COs which serves any area be it rural or town are connected back to Exchange via fibre, nothing else(in most cases).

      The last mile, which is dustance from CO to your rural house can be connected via copper telephone line as long as it doesnt exceed the recomended distance. Otherwise FTTH will be the only solution, and a very expensive one for rural folks

      In our situation, rural broadband can only be done via satellite, and TelOne have that solution in place, give them a bell

      Unless rural areas are linked via fibre from Harare or nearest big exchange, forget adsl. The loan money is not enough to cover fibre installations.

  2. aeaweg

    Where will the forex come from?

    1. Macd Chip

      Its a credit facility being hold by China Exim Bank. All TelOne do is write a PO(purchase order) and the bank will pay. The money does have to be in Zim


    Really, you will spend 98 million so that you can add social media bundles into the mix. What a joke Telone, plus u a monopoly in the ADSL business fortunately though not for all of us there are options out there now.
    So if anyone from Telone will read this, please tell me why you could not bundle Ztv into your broadband as a solution to this whole digitization program? Hey you could have even called it infrastructure sharing for all I care.

    1. Macd Chip

      You are reading and taking what you want to hear, did you read this:

      “…upgrading its exchanges and entire network to offer its subscribers better services…”

      I have been waiting for this for a long time.

    2. Zimbo

      Looks like you had you own preconceived idea before you even read the story and its cloudig your understanding

  4. Lennon

    I have applied and applied for ADSL but i am told there are no ports.

    1. Macd Chip

      Then this load should be able to address that as they will be able to bring in high capacity dslams

  5. Mercy

    Can someone explain why with Telone adsl your speed drops to below 0,5 mbps during the day and then at night it shoots up to its normal speed? Zol fibre is constant day and night!!!

  6. Mercy

    I have actually given up reporting internet speeds to Telone as nothing is ever done about it. A technician arrives tests your speed, makes a phone call on your landline to the exchange and nothing improves.

    1. Macd Chip

      the problem with TelOne on that is they play blame game. There are two separate technical groups. The ones who come and make a call are the telephone guys. All they are doing is trying to find out the line quality. But unfortunately making a phone is not good enough to determine that. They need to bring equipment and make sure there is no coils on the line, line splits etc.

      Then there is adsl guys who come and switch off and on your router. They log into you modem page and bring out a laptop then look like they are doing something. They go on speednet to test your speed, then depending on how bored they are, they will tell you that the line is good or fault they will further investigate and send engineers(telephone guys)

      TelOne needs to merge the two groups into one to eliminate finger pointing and improve customer service. Whenever l have problem, l always request that l get one technician from each group. Last time l had problem someone was messing about at the CO and disconnected my line and l insisted on both coming when l reported the fault.

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