Negotiations between the South African operator Telkom and Zimbabwe’s state-owned telco TelOne have broken down, with TelOne now thought to be looking elsewhere for a strategic investor. Monopoly fixed line operator TelOne requires around USD300 million to bring its infrastructure and equipment up to date through digitisation, IT Web Africa reports, but Telkom has now ruled itself out as a potential investor. The strict foreign ownership regulations and economic problems in Zimbabwe are thought to be deterring international investment, with President Robert Mugabe also said to be opposed to changes at state-run firms such as TelOne.
Separately, TelOne has made some headway with its much needed network upgrade programme, having announced the launch of Single-pair High-speed Digital Subscriber Line (SHDSL) technology to complement its existing ADSL service. The symmetric SHDSL offering is targeted at business users which require balanced upstream and downstream data rates for applications such as videoconferencing. Local website TechZim says the high pricing of the new SHDSL service is likely to deter smaller businesses, making the technology suitable only for larger corporations.