Dandemutande officially launched their $8m fibre network and gave a few more details about it

Leonard Sengere Avatar
Dandemutande corporate logo, Sophos

We recently talked about Dandemutande’s $8 million investment into a fibre optic network. We noted that it was supposed to be completed by the end of February 2024 and it appears they met their deadline.

Dandemutande and Fibre Connections officially launched the fibre optic project at an event held in Somabhula.

Here is a reminder of the details of that project. Dandemutande co-built a fibre network of 717km from Beitbridge to Harare and an additional 144km of optic fibre between Somabhula and Bulawayo for an investment of $5 million.

Here are a few other details we didn’t know

They invested a further $1.5 million in active equipment and a solar backup solution that ensures sustainable redundancy.

Dandemutande owns 48 of the 96 cores on the route, and therefore a 50% stake in the infrastructure. When it comes to bandwidth, 100Gbps of capacity is currently lit but it is scalable to 400Gbps.

This needs breaking down. It simply means they currently have a connection with a capacity of 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps). This is the amount of data that can be transmitted through the connection in one second.

However, the infrastructure is designed to handle an increase in bandwidth up to 400Gbps should the need arise.

To simplify it even further, here’s a popular analogy to explain bandwidth: Imagine a highway with multiple lanes. The “100Gbps currently lit” refers to the number of lanes currently open for traffic flow.

“Scalable to 400Gbps” means the highway can be expanded to accommodate more lanes (increased bandwidth) if necessary.

I think this analogy works really well in Zimbabwe because in recent years we have seen highways and roads expanded to accommodate new lanes. Some of these expansion projects ran into the problem of houses that had been built too close to the road, which meant the need to destroy houses to expand the roads. They were not scalable.

What 100Gbps means for Dandemutande

They say this capacity will enable them to provide carrier-grade backhaul services from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

This simply means Dandemutande can provide the backbone for other companies to offer internet services in Zimbabwe.

Backhaul refers to the high-capacity connections that carry data traffic between networks, often over long distances like SA to Zim in this case.

“Carrier-grade” means that these services are presumably reliable, secure, and meet the demanding requirements of mobile network operators (MNOs) and other internet service providers (ISPs).

In addition to the fibre backbone laid, Dandemutande plans to invest an additional US$3 million in metro fibre to connect Beitbridge, Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, and Harare which will increase its national footprint, bringing greater convenience, increased bandwidth, and lower costs to the customer. 

Dandemutande CEO, Never Ncube says,

This project enables us to extend our services to the towns and cities along the backhaul fibre route, where we previously had no presence, and aligns with our national expansion program, empowering the communities we serve.

Some of you are wary on behalf of Dande

Most, if not all of us welcome this investment. However, some fear that the future might be in satellite internet and sinking $8m in terrestrial networks does not make the most sense at the moment.

I understand the sentiment and agree that there are merits to it. However, I think there is time to recoup that investment (especially if current pricing regimes stand) before the satellites take over.

While the satellites won’t replace the likes of Econet for a while, it can be argued that fixed internet providers are most at risk because their clients can afford Starlink kits and would switch. However, Dande can and will provide service to other internet service providers better than Starlink could. That’s business somewhat safe from the satellites.

Anyway, do let us know what you think about all this.

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  1. Bingo Graas Claat

    Just everyone before then, the service will to a few corners in Zimbabwe, then forget about it…..

  2. D.K.

    Anything further on the Dandemutande Starlink collaboration?

  3. Tam

    Any indication which neighborhoods the fibre service will be rolled out?

  4. Him

    Damn your website is just fast and smooth

    1. Itel P40 user


      1. iTel 14 User

        Chitungwiza has around 1 million inhabitants. A vast under served market for dark fibre.

        Bring it and we will light it up. The pipe needs to be fed.


  5. Anonymous

    No idea how these guys keep investing. I would pay good money to be a fly on the wall when they are presenting their forecasts to whoever is funding them. Or maybe they just have a rich guy/woman’s nudes.

  6. Marvsta

    There’s still a market for these guys because I tried to connect to the Zimra ASYCUDA system using Starlink and it wouldn’t connect. So I’ve had to keep using the local ISP.

  7. Inini

    Does this isp have LTE sim cards like zol

    1. Comment number X

      There is no LTE without a SIM card.

    2. Jay

      Yes they do… Visit utande offices

  8. Ted Farai Mandoreba

    These guys they will go and lay fibre next to TELCO & Liquid. They don’t see that fibre mostly doesn’t have downtime… Those who are already hooked up to liquid and Telco will never ask them to come and dig again their yards for new fibre. Why not bring it to where there has never been fibre. This shows that if a service is available people will take it… Look at liquid (all high density suburbs) Wimax network boosters are full (akazara). So it shows there is a need for service in those area rather than the only ones they focus on….. That’s why I am saying let the regulator allow those who have capacity to connect pple do the job….varipo (the service providers) demand yavakurira

    1. No Alter

      This is Backbone fiber not last mile fiber to home users. This is fiber for ISPs to reach SA and other Regional entities. This is fiber used by Multinationals with local presence.

  9. Admire Kamutimbe

    Well done dandemutande and all it’s stakeholders for this major investment. Such investments make it possible over time and effort easy for masses to have access to internet connection. Keep it up guys.

  10. HE.

    Well done. If you have a Data Center we can cohabit. We will be be making lots of films and series. The pipe needs to be fed by original content.

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    Mars Capital named after Volcano Olympus Mons.

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    Government business and allocation of resources is run by AI with input from the Mars Council (Six Great Houses), addition of Zuckerberg and Dangote. The Mars Senate is responsible for the law making.

    1. Joker

      The internet is fun.

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