Powertel embarks on expansion projects
POWERTEL, a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, is embarking on key network expansion projects countrywide as it seeks to recover from its current loss making position.
The Internet Access Provider narrowed its loss during the year 2016 recording $352 634 compared to a $497 000 loss in 2015.
Revenue for the company during the period under review went up three percent to about $25,6 million from $25,5 million recorded in the previous year.
The jump was on the back of improved revenue streams aided by new product launches and better market visibility.
“Powertel is embarking on key projects on network expansion, electricity aggregation advancement, retail network expansion, and network improvement projects and running new services to add value to existing customers,” Powertel said.
“Powertel, traditionally has been running as an independent Strategic Business Unit under ZESA Holdings which accessed no capital injection from Government or the parent company.”
“However Government has been very instrumental in mentoring the company and panelling it to remain focused on its main mandate as the company remains one of the flag ships of the power generating utility,” the company said.
Experts are of the opinion that the company would have been in a better position if it had been cushioned with concessionary loans as is the case with its competitors.
When Powertel was formed, it was solely for the purpose of servicing ZESA-the parent company but budding out to go mainstream as a business was a major positive growth for them.
Powertel recently integrated vendors on the electronic prepaid system which allowed many players to act as ZESA agents, cutting down long queues country wide. This even saw ZESA closing some banking halls which had become irrelevant.
“This ultimately became a revenue creation model for hundreds across the nation who are now running a sustainable business out of profit margins for collecting prepaid electricity on behalf of ZESA,” said Powertel.
Powertel in 2014 aggressively registered its presence in the region by becoming the first company to have fibre connectivity via Botswana.
The internet services provider has also been working on rolling out a $32 million fibre optic backbone network project set to improve the country’s connectivity.
The project requires the installation of around 1 850km of cable.