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Powertel Expands To Kariba


Powertel, the state-owned internet access provider has introduced its services to Kariba. Apart from household services, Powertel is introducing corporate services that include virtual private network, business internet services, and carrier services.

The Zesa Holdings subsidiary is known for leveraging on backward CDMA technology to provide internet access. Because of this, the company has been facing fierce competition from the technologically advanced internet access providers like ZOL and Telone in urban areas so this latest expansion to remote Kariba could be an attempt to break into a market where Zol and Telone haven’t really focused on.

But the company is gradually investing in fiber optic to compete with other companies in providing enhanced services to customers. It is alleged that it has already installed 10 000 combined kilometers of fiber optic cables.


The company’s marketing manager Prosper Mutwsiri mentioned that for a long time Kariba has been requesting its services and now it has heeded the call.

“The launch is a timely response to the call by the Kariba market which has been longing to see our services available there’, he said.

Will Powertel win the Kariba Market?

According to their website, Powertel has no fiber optic cables available in Kariba, but rather it rents them,  so the connectivity will probably not be as efficient and effective compared to other internet providers. To counter this, Powertel will likely use its CDMA technology to provide internet access.

CDMA is infamous for its slowness when the number of users increase and compared to fiber optic and ADSL internet that is offered by other companies, it’s doubtful that people in Kariba would prefer a technically inferior service.

However, CDMA is known for being cheap so maybe the purported demand for their services by the Kariba market stems from Powertel’s services being relatively cheap.

The chances of Powertel to be successful in the Kariba market hinges on the responses of other internet access providers who have better technology. So for now, Powertel will be anxiously monitoring other internet access provider’s responses.

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