TelOne, a Zimbabwean telecommunications company, recently invested $2.4 million in upgrading its broadband network. This upgrade has allowed for increased capacity and reduced connectivity latency. Despite facing challenges from legacy loans and network vandalism affecting 30,000 subscribers, TelOne continues to invest in its network expansion. Lawrence Nkala, the newly appointed CEO, mentioned that the company has invested over $20 million in the network over the past two years. This recent upgrade optimized traffic management and routing processes, specifically in the fiber and ADSL categories. The government-owned telco is also working on developing its metro network, although cash shortages may pose a challenge.
Moreover, the metro capacity increase aims to enhance TelOne's ability to serve more enterprise and residential data users. The company has over 250,000 data clients and provides bulk internet access to other ISPs and mobile networks. However, the Zimbabwe Auditor General's office raised concerns about TelOne's financial performance, noting a loss of about $7.4 million in 2022. The company is also grappling with significant legacy loans and the impact of vandalism on its network equipment.
In response to evolving technologies, TelOne is diversifying into other revenue-generating streams, including cloud and data center solutions, as well as VoIP services. These services now account for more than 70% of the company’s revenue. To attract international investors, the Zimbabwean government has included TelOne in its sovereign wealth fund, the Mutapa Investment Fund, which functions similarly to a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) by investing in various assets.