21 September 2012

Zimbabwe: Telecel Targets 2,7 Million Subscriber Base

TELECEL Zimbabwe Ltd is targeting a subscriber base of 2,7 million by year-end after it reached 2,2 million at the end of August.

Telecel CEO Francis Mahwindi said that the company was now well capitalised, with the injection of a US$70 million capital investment, and is on an aggressive network expansion drive.

The company is planning to invest US$40 million into network expansion by end of 2013.

This will grow the mobile operator's network coverage from the current 75% to 90% by end of 2013.

"We are targeting 85% by end of 2012," said Mahwindi.

"Next year, we hope to push the coverage up close to 90 %. These are good coverage figures for any country. By the end of the year we expect to have completed the installation of base stations at more than 200 new sites, bringing to 577 the number of base station sites we have altogether."

The company plans to grow its data business which currently accounts for only 4,2% in line with international trends that have seen phone companies getting most of their revenue from data services.

The company is expanding its retail network to 12 outlets country-wide.

He said: "By the end of the year we expect to have 18. We have planned more for next year."

Mahwindi added that they were in the process of establishing a new third generation customer care centre that would have interactive voice response, known as IVR, and the capacity to deal quickly with customer care queries, whether these come over the phone, by e mail, by messaging or by text message.

The new call centre is due to be opened shortly.

The group has also installed and commissioned a new intelligent network (IN) management system that will enable it to provide our customers with more advanced value-added services.

Installation began in April.

Unlike the old platform, which had limitations on the number of value added services it could take on-board, the new system is virtually limitless. It is capable of taking on countless new applications that can enhance subscriber services.

It comes with on-the-shelf products and a disaster recovery site to back-up the system, ensuring nothing is lost in the event of the system being damaged or compromised.

Easy to operate, it can accommodate more subscribers and makes it possible to provide more services for both contract and pre-paid subscribers.

"It will soon be possible, for instance, for contract customers to check their bill in much the same way as pre-paid customers check their airtime balance. They will also be able to set a limit on their account. When they reach that limit, they will be able to buy and load airtime in the same way that a pre-paid customer does."

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