The Sunday Mail
FIXED telecommunications firm, TelOne is looking for capital to enable it to move away from copper cables, which have been relentlessly targeted by vandals.
In 2021, the company lost US$1,5 million due to network disruptions resulting from vandalism.
In a statement released during the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, TelOne head of corporate communications, Ms Melody Harry, said last year the company recorded 333 network vandalism incidents.
This was a 27 percent increase compared to prior year.
“The biggest loss to the company from acts of vandalism has been the business lost due to voice and internet service disruptions also prejudicing the company’s valued clients and negatively impacting the company’s reputation.
“A total of 39 965 customers were affected by vandalism-induced downtime, during the period under review, amounting to a 74 percent increase from 22 966 clients that were affected in 2020,” Mrs Harry said.
It appears this year could be worse for the parastatal, as there is 21 percent increase in vandalism cases this year, compared to the same period in 2021.
TelOne managing director, Dr Chipo Mtasa, said they have resolved to do away with copper cables, adopting new LTE (Long Term Evaluation) technology, and optic fibre.
“We need to replace the copper network with optic fibre and wireless solutions more urgent as these solutions are not only less susceptible to vandalism but also significantly improve the quality of experience.
“To this end funding options continue to be pursued for the phased replacement of copper wires, with Chitungwiza having been the first under the programme, to migrate to the LTE technology,” Dr Mutasa said.
Kwekwe and Chitungwiza were identified as vandalism hotspots.