Telone has partnered with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) to set up a telecommunications research laboratory. We all know that firms in Zimbabwe hardly satisfy the amount of investment required for Research & Development (R&D) therefore Telone by partnering NUST mean that they have cut back these costs significantly.
NUST brings its researching expertise into this partnership whist Telone brings hardware and the software and perhaps financial resources.
Telone managing director, Chipo Mtasa said the laboratory will be used to develop and provide value-added services for Telone. The internet service is one value-added service that Telone seeks to enhance through this newly commissioned laboratory.
The way we had been structured, the way we were making money, it was just out of the voice-the landline……..So as a team along with the direction from our principles, the shareholder as well as the board, we then said let’s transform TelOne so that it’s a converged services operator. Which means you can still do your voice landline but you can have other services which the market desire and are stemming out of the advent of the internet, she said.
So after many years of concentrating on landline voice calls and fax transmissions and lagging in expanding its internet services, Telone has decided to team up with an educational institution to improve its internet value-added services.
Telone said the collaboration comes at a time where it is attempting to redefine its business model in line the telecoms industry direction by providing application software to people and businesses. And to do this, it needs to collaborate with an institution that is experienced in researching.
We notice that the business model will not work to combine just internet and voice……We then saw that we needed to find applications that will allow people to say come to TelOne. That is why TelOne needs to do a bit more research to develop other products so that people can start accessing these products that they want, she went on.
Is it a marriage made in heaven?
Yes, it is. Telone, a telecoms operator which is desperately trying to reinvent itself and compete fiercely in the internet business perfectly suits NUST, an educational institution which is science and technology oriented.
The fact that both institutions are government-owned, it makes it relatively easier for them to be able to work together since they all report to the government