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Fibre is Here to Stay, Superior to Starlink, Wireless Technology” – Nkala


Zimbabwe’s state owned Converged service provider, TelOne has reaffirmed its commitment to fiber networks, emphasizing that fiber technology is here to stay and will continue to be a central focus of their investments.

In an exclusive interview with TechnoMag on the sidelines of TelOne’s Annual General Meeting, CEO Lawrence Nkala insisted that the company shall continue to invest in fibre as it is the future of connectivity.

Questioned on why they keep investing millions into fibre trenching, a technology that is facing serious competition and threat  from seamless and mobile solution providers like Starlink and other Low Earth Orbit service providers, the CEO insisted”

“Fiber remains superior and has higher capacity than wireless technologies such as low Earth orbit (LEO) technologies, this carrying capacity can not be matched, even tech giants like Google recently invested on this backbone, a sign of commitment to its capacity ” said Nkala.

He further emphasized the national carrying capacity that transmits bulk data on single fibre lines, a case which Satelites can not sustain

“Fiber will remain the medium of choice for transmission, providing the widest broadband you can think of. We handle traffic that serves not only Zimbabwe but also transmits to South Africa, making fiber more reliable and accessible compared to LEO satellites.” state Nkala


“In terms of internal terrestrial networks, fiber will become the preferred medium for backhauling from core networks to mobile destinations.”

He further mentioned other limititations faced by satelite technologies, which are immune to fiber.

“Satellite has its strengths and challenges, including atmospheric conditions that can pose issues from time to time, like like of site and cloudy  weather but they can always complement each other.” said Nkala

Nkala added that TelOne has partnered with LEO service provider Eutelsat, a competitor to Starlink, in a business-to-business deal that will help TelOne expand its market presence.

TelOne’s ongoing investment in fiber infrastructure is connecting bulawayo to Victoria Falls in a new link that will add to national redundancy.

Sheltryn Parangira

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