For a long time now, they have silently called themselves an IAP of ISPs, but it now seems that Powertel will soon be unleashing their muscles over already laid infrastructure as they target larger national coverage.
Powertel , a ZESA subsidiary, the only state owned enterprise with access to electricity pylons may have been sitting on a gold mine which to date they have not used competitively, and news is that the game is set to change as the IAP makes use of lying infrastructure.
By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
While the major technological problem we have in Zimbabwe is not just fast internet access, ISPs have often complained of the bureaucratic processes of applying through the local council to get permission to trench through to various destinations which is often a long and frustrating process and Powertel may have found an upper hand to deliver.
An optical ground wire (also known as an OPGW or, in the IEEE standard, is an optical fiber composite overhead ground wire) this type of cable is used in the construction of electric power transmission and distribution lines. Such cable combines the functions of grounding and communications.
Powertel has already been connecting Zimbabwe via two major points which are through Forbes Border Post into Mozambique then connecting to Seacom, while the other link is through Plumtree into Botswana connecting to WACS.
They have been running on a Backbone which has an installed capacity of STM64 and recently announced that they are currently working on a third gateway through Beitbridge.
Speaking to the marketing manager with Powertel, Mr Prosper Mutswiri, he said that
Their other major backbone is (OPGW) on power line infrastructure has high availability ≈ 100% due to location of cable & active equipment that is in substations. It is thus less susceptible to vandalism And theft issues.
Mutswiri said that Powertel also runs a virtual Private network with Seamless Branch to branch connecting Metropolitan link of capacity 64Kbps to 10Mbps bandwidth within the city/town and intercity links with capacity from 64K to multiples of 1 Mbps .
The Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connectivity package allows companies with branches spread countrywide to network their ICT resources as if they are in the same room and to also enjoy internet on the same cable.
“This is achieved through our vast metropolitan fibre network complemented by the SDH transmission backbone network. Through this product, Powertel has managed to connect the major industries in Zimbabwe including manufacturing, retail sector, financial institutions, SMEs, Universities and Educational institutions, NGOs and Mining,” said Mutswiri