NetOne have Signed another mega-deal with Infrastructure and solutions provider Huawei, which saw a new funding of a total of $71million being signed on December 31, 2017.
Huwaei had previously signed an initial $218 million deal in 2014 with NetOne for Mobile Broadband (MBB) which saw the project running for three years and was finally completed last year as NetOne upgraded system towards 4G capacity.
The recent deal will see the mobile Network extending 4g services into the rural areas, a move which strategically is not very profitable, but mandatory for state-owned institutions to cover all parts of the nation with broadband services.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the NetOne acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Brian Mutandiro said
“As part of our 100-day plan, we included accessibility to rural communities as a major quick-win and with the signing of this contract, we are happy to say that we will deliver this goal,”
“We want to thank the Government for facilitating this arrangement and it is now for us to deliver,” said Mr Mutandiro.
The deal was funded from a concessional loan from China Exim Bank, which Huawei a Chinese based technology provider is funded to supply the service, with the government as a guarantor of the loan for the supply the services or equipment.
“It is envisaged that the funds will be used for network expansion and modernization, which includes, among other deliverables within the first 100 days, the construction of 250 rural base stations that will bring mobile cellular services to the rural communities, including mobile banking services, internet connectivity, and high-speed data products.”
Rural areas and less profitable areas are a purview of government interest for connectivity, under the Potraz based Universal Service Fund, (USF) which the government is targeting to build more base stations to connect all mobile networks so they share infrastructure.
The minister of ICT Hon Supa Mandiwanzira has demanded that NetOne becomes more profitable and declare dividends to the shareholder as the state continues to support it through government-backed loan services