TelOne picks Indian tech firm to expand broadband network

TelOne Zimbabwe
TelOne: pushing away from voice to data

TelOne, Zimbabwe’s state-owned telco, has selected Tejas Networks of India to build a 100Gbps fibre network to expand bandwidth.  

Tejas’ 100G DWDM/OTN solution was selected after a competitive bidding process and a field trial, the Indian tech company said in a statement.

“With rising demand for bandwidth and higher speeds from our customers, we were looking for a versatile solution that could significantly expand the capacity on our existing fibre network with incremental investments,” said TelOne MD Chipo Mtasa.

The company has its roots in fixed telephony, but in 2018 it started generating more revenue from data than from its traditional voice service, the outcome of the company’s deliberate tilt towards becoming a technology entity.

In 2019, TelOne commissioned a US$23.6 million fibre backbone network, and the company has introduced consumer products such as video streaming to compete with data rivals. However, slow speeds have slowed down the company.

“We are delighted that TelOne has deployed our latest 100G/100G+ DWDM/OTN technology for its network expansion. Our solution empowers our customers to diversify their existing DWDM vendor base and use our proven, cost-effective solution to expand and inter-operate,” said Sanjay Nayak, CEO and MD of Tejas Networks.

Rakesh Raghoonandan, Vice President of Sales at Tejas Networks Africa, said his company’s tech could expand capacity ten times.

“Our solution unlocks new opportunities for service providers to multiply the available capacity on their networks by more than 10X, without being limited by their existing network deployment. The TelOne deployment is yet another example of our cutting-edge technology that we have deployed over several networks across Africa,” Raghoonandan said.

TelOne is one of dozens of parastatals that were to be sold under a privatisation drive announced in 2018. However, the process has since stalled as the companies struggle to pay for advisory services and fail to attract quality investor interest.