Chipo Mtasa, CEO of Zimbabwean fixed telecoms operator TelOne, has revealed that the company will invest USD90 million in new projects, local newspaper The Herald reports. The executive was cited as saying: ‘We are currently conducting feasibility studies on most of our projects, and the way we want to grow as TelOne is to focus on our data business…The USD90 million budgeted for new projects will not be used in 2014 alone, but will expand into 2015, because we want to employ effective cost-cutting initiatives.’ Mrs Mtasa also pointed out that discussions are currently underway to refine the scope of the projects.
Further, the CEO also said the company is still owed over USD200 million in unpaid bills; TelOne, however, plans to collect all the debt by the end of the first six months of 2014. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, TelOne launched the debt collection campaign in August 2013; Mtasa said at the time that the strategy was crucial for the company to re-finance its operations. Mtasa explained that many of TelOne’s subscribers have not paid their bills since 2009, due to the country’s dollarisation, which left many customers with huge bills. In October 2013 the company revealed that accumulated debts of residential customers, amounting to USD80 million, had been cancelled, to reflect the ‘cash-flow challenges currently facing [TelOne’s] clients across the market’.