PowerTel Communications

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PowerTel Communications
Trading name
PowerTel Communications
Type
Government
Industry Communications, Telecoms
Headquarters 4th Floor Joina City Building Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe
Parent Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings
Website www.powertel.co.zw
Footnotes / references
Office Hours
Mon - Fri 0800 hrs - 1530 hrs
Sat 0800 hrs - 1130 hrs
Sun & Public Holidays CLOSED
Contact Number+ 263 4- 780635-9

PowerTel Communications is subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings (ZESA Holdings) Holdings. It is a registered Internet Service provider in Zimbabwe and offers coverage to most parts in the country. The company also ventured into the mobile communication industry and has an array of services and products available on their table. The company is headquartered at the Joina City building on the heart of the Harare Central Business District.

Background

Mission and Vision

PowerTel endeavours to be the favoured ICT provider in Zimbabwe and globally. The company also strives to providing world class ICT connectivity services and products whilst creating value for its stakeholders.

Commitment

  1. The Company is committed to becoming the premier one stop shop provider of advanced network solutions through:
  2. Service excellence
  3. Product and service innovation
  4. Technological expertise
  5. An Indispensable brand
  6. Ensuring affordable products
  7. Enhancing its availability and accessibility to the customers.[1]


Expansion

In 2013, PowerTel, entered into a $100 million deal on vendor financing from China Eximbank as the firm embarked on a network expansion programme. The company had been expanding using internal resources and 20 base stations had already been installed. The company worked closely with the government in its quest to secure the funds.[2] PowerTel's customer base suddenly boomed in 2013 when it introduced a students’ package promotion in which all students registered with local institutions got unlimited Internet connection for $0.50 per day.[3] Due to the comparative affordability of the service, most students became active subscribers. However the promotion came to an end during the third quarter of 2014.

PowerTel was the first company to offer state of the art Fibre Optic SDH Transmission System (STM16) along Harare Plumtree route. The fibre was eventually extended into Botswana to interconnect with Bofinet of Botswana. PowerTel has also installed a fibre cable link from Harare to Mutare and into Mozambique through Seacom to the undersea extraterrestrial fibre.[4]

Products and Services

The company’s main product is Telecommunications Bandwidth over a robust and secure Optic Fibre Transmission Network. The company has an existing fibre optic network, stretching between Harare, Bulawayo and Plumtree which was primarily installed for improving power system communications and operations. Powertel Communications had plans set to introduce Internet services through the establishment of an Internet Service Provision (ISP) and new Internet based products such as e-medicine and e-hurudza.[5]

Voice over internet Protocol(VOIP)

PowerTel's telephone voice service (08611 network) delivers voice services and value related services through Internet protocol technology. NGN is flat telephone architecture built around an existing packet data network instead of traditionally structured hierarchically structured telephone networks thus reducing the initial investment costs.[6]

Voice Over BroadBand – VOBB

This is a voice telephone service offered over broadband internet connections enabled on any computer, laptop, smart phone or any internet access device for example tablets, ipads etcetera. Users were also able to call or send short messages at the lowest rates on 3G or Wifi.[7]

Features

  1. Call Forwarding
  2. Follow Me
  3. Voice Mail.[7]

PowerTel Prepaid Electricity

Powertel also retails PowerPlus prepaid electricity vouchers instore and through the e-vending partner network. ZB Bank, CBZ Bank By this services, PowerTel linked with various commercial banks to allow customers to pay for their electricity bills directly using their respective bank accounts.[8]

Data Services

PowerTel was the first Company in Zimbabwe to connect to the submarine cable systems via terrestial optical fibre to bring high speed internet. This means that the Zimbabwean population was able to enjoy more global services such as E-education, E-commerce, E-sport, E-Christianity, E-networking & E-world services etc. The current connectivity through Botswana and Mozambique offers good quality of service as it links to submarine systems such as SAT3, Seacom, EASSY and WACS.[9]

Mobile Internet

PowerTel offers Mobile internet access. Introduced in 2007, the 3G high speed Mobile internet services both the individual and business market. The product works off the CDMA technology and Powertel’s CDMA platform is optimized for data transmission. Coupled with a 3G mobile wifi router, users are able to use the Wifi platform to broadcast internet in the home or office up to 5 or more laptops, Personal Computers, tablets and cellphones.[9]

Mobile Network Services

In early 2015, the company announced that they would soon be rolling out mobile network services sometime during the year. PowerTel popularly known as an internet service provider, reported that they had done a lot of work in establishing voice services and had already reached interconnection agreements.[10] The internet service provider also announced that they had managed to secure a a converged telecommunications licence by the Posts and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Potraz) to provide both internet and voice services.

Coverage

By 2014, Powertel had established coverage in Harare, Norton, Kadoma, Chinhoyi, Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Ruwa, Marondera, Bindura, Rusape, Mutare and Masvingo.[9]


Successes

PowerTel in 2012 made a total US $20.2 million in revenue, a change from $16.4 million the previous year. The company’s profit before tax rose significantly by about 620% from $428,000 in 2011 to 3.1 million in 2012.[11] In November 2014, PowerTel scrapped off one of its promotions which benefited college students on unlimited internet access. This was replaced by a tariff based billing promotion which awarded the customers with doubled internet bundles.[12]

References

  1. , Vision, "PowerTel Communications", retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  2. V. Mutomba, PowerTel secures $100m vendor financing, "Newsday", published:10 Jul 2013,retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  3. T. Mupaso, Powertel introduces 0.50c/day unlimited mobile broadband package for students, "TechZim", published:20 Mar 2014,retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  4. , WHO WE ARE,PowerTel Communications,retrieved:9 Jan 2015"
  5. , Powertel Communications, "ZESA Holdings", retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  6. , Introducing 08611… Unlimited talk for $9 per month or $1 for 4 days on mobile or fixed, "PowerTel Communications", retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  7. 7.0 7.1 , Voice Over BroadBand – VOBB, "PowerTel", retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  8. , PREPAID ELECTRICITY TOPUP,PowerTel Communications, retrieved:9 Jan 2015"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 , Internet bandwidth, "PowerTel", retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  10. Powertel says ready to roll out mobile network services, New Zimbabwe, Published: January 1, 2015, Retrieved: January 7, 2015
  11. L.S.M. Kabweza, PowerTel makes $20.2m revenue in 2012, targets consumer market, "TechZim2", published:28 March 2013,retrieved:06 Oct 2014"
  12. N. Gambanga, Powertel responds to the market, offers data promotion,Tech Zim, published:3 Nov 214,retrieved:9 Jan 2015"