By Ndafadza Madanha
The data centre built at a cost of US$4m under the first phase of the national broad band project will help companies cut costs and concentrate on core businesses.
A data centre is a centralized location where large amounts of data are collected, stored, processed, distributed and accessed.
“The data centre was built at a cost of US$4m and its capacity is huge and this is a wise investment, at its peak we estimate the centre will earn US$2m a month. The company will also earn rentals from the space opened up by the data centre as it uses less space,” said Mandiwanzira.
The data centre is a product of the Chinese mega deals signed between Zimbabwe and China in 2015 and culminated in Telone receiving US$98m loan from the China Exim Bank.
To date US$33m has been drawn down and channeled to the first phase of the national broadband project which includes the data centre, upgrade of the Bulawayo-Vic Falls microwave radio link, upgrade of Mutare-Harare-Bulawayo-Plumtree fibre optic backbone link and the new billing system.
Mandiwanzira said the data centre will compliment a national data centre which is going to be built by government before the end of the year.
He added that his ministry will not relent on its call for players in the telecommunications to share infrastructure to avoid duplication and save the country foreign currency.
“We are not going back on this position of infrastructure sharing as we continue to seek ways to create more value for the Zimbabwean consumer by cutting capital expenditure for business”.
Telone chairman Engineer Charles Shamu said the data centre was part of the transformation the institution was undergoing in response to the rise of over the top services that have plunged voice revenue.
He said the company anticipates return to profitability in two years anchored on growth of broadband and enterprise business.
“This deliberate transition to Broadband, cloud, and digital services is expected to see the company return to profitability within the next two years. The target therefore is to increase broadband contribution to 48 percent of total revenue by 2020 up from the current 20 percent. Voice revenue is expected to contribute 43 percent of total revenue from the current 66 percent.”