Zimbabwean fixed line and internet provider TelOne is reported to be looking to use the mobile licence it was issued four years ago but has never utilised. The firm is said to be looking at a partnership with its state-owned sister company NetOne, which is the second largest cellular provider in Zimbabwe. Local newspaper The Herald quotes TelOne CEO Chipo Mtasa as saying: ‘TelOne is prepared and eager to work with all the players, particularly mobile companies, for us to see how best we can collaborate and increase our footprint across the country.’ She added: ‘We require huge capital investment to activate our mobile operating licence, but our focus at the moment is to optimise on our current investments.’
TelOne’s announcement comes in the wake of the government’s announcement last week that operators had 90 days to open up their infrastructure to rivals. The government-mandated move towards network sharing has not been welcomed by all parties, with mobile market leader Econet saying that it penalises firms such as itself which have invested heavily to roll out networks. The government, meanwhile, insists that infrastructure sharing will save operators money and will help expand coverage to more rural areas.