New load-shedding schedules give telcos some respite

By Staff reporter | 01 Sep 2019 at 20:55hrs
Monica
Of late the load-shedding schedules seem to have changed for the better after the recent electricity import deal with South African firm Eskom. This was confirmed by Zimbabwe's Minister of Information Monica Mutsvangwa following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Telecommunication industry executives have bemoaned the adverse impact the power cuts have had on businesses. Companies have been forced to rely on alternative energy sources like generators and solar power of which are also an expense on their own.

Diesel prices continue to go up while other telcos are yet to fully invest in solar energy so as to sustain their businesses. One can only wonder how long the claimed "improved power supply" will last as Eskom is also facing outages.

The deal is a welcome development given the impact of rolling power cuts on Zimbabwe, specifically its telecommunications industry, as confirmed by the Minister of ICT Kazembe Kazembe. The ministry is expecting network challenges to get better as they are now working with an improved power supply.

In the past weeks, Zimbabwe has also suffered disruption to data, mobile money and telecom services on the Econet network. With many suffering as they use the Ecocash platform to transact

The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe(POTRAZrecently approved a 100% tariff increase for voice telephony services. But bare in mind they are operating against a 1000% increase in the price of diesel since January.

Econet said it requires US$60-million to migrate its base stations from electricity to solar power. There has been news on securing a deal with Mozambique but its fruits or even confirmation of a settlement are yet to be seen.

With many saying that the electricity situation only changed for a few days one wonders what the future looks like for Telecommunication companies in Zimbabwe.

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