Pow­er­tel em­barks on ex­pan­sion projects

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Busi­ness Re­porter

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.

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