Reward Kangai, the CEO of Zimbabwe’s wholly state-owned mobile operator NetOne, says the company will need a further USD600 million to complete its ongoing network upgrade and expansion project. This comes on the back of a USD218 million loan recently secured with the Chinese government. The firm is deploying 4G LTE technology and is also expanding its footprint under the state’s National Mobile Broadband Project.
A report from local news portal TechZim suggests that the cellco may struggle to obtain all of the required funding from the Harare administration, however, given that struggling mobile rival Telecel has recently come under government control, while state-owned fixed line operator TelOne is also requiring investment funds. The report says that in January-November 2015 NetOne brought in sales of USD121 million, up from USD110 million in the whole of 2014. NetOne is the second largest of Zimbabwe’s mobile operators in subscriber terms, ahead of Telecel but some way behind market leader Econet.