A USD98 million fibre equipment contract between Zimbabwe’s state-owned fixed line operator TelOne and Chinese vendor Huawei may have to be renegotiated due to delays in implementing the deal. The agreement was signed back in 2010, but NewsDay reports that both parties have faced ‘undisclosed challenges’ which have led to the postponement of the rollout. Sources within TelOne are now saying that the USD98 million contract is likely to be re-examined due to the depreciation of equipment prices, with one source saying the original valuation could be as much as 30% too high under today’s prices. Meanwhile, TelOne has already carried out some parts of the work using its own internal funding.
Separately, TelOne’s state-owned cellular sister company NetOne has revealed that it has completed the latest phase of its multi-million dollar expansion project. Using a USD218.9 million loan to Zimbabwe from China’s Exim Bank, NetOne has installed over 100 new base stations nationwide, The Herald writes. The latest phase saw the rollout of equipment worth more than USD40 million, and the project is now around 30% complete. NetOne is the second largest cellco in Zimbabwe by subscribers, with around 3.5 million users on its books.