Africom Disconnected Over Debt

CONVERGED Telecommunications company Africom has been disconnected from a Mozambican mobile service provider Mobitel for not paying bandwidth costs.

According to the second quarter 2017 report from Potraz, the alibi for not honouring the bandwidth cost was that of foreign currency crisis that has not spared every Zimbabwean.

“Africom`s equipped international incoming bandwidth declined by 46.2%. Mobitel, Mozambique disconnected Africom as a result of Africom`s failure to pay bandwidth costs because of the current foreign currency shortages,” said the regulator.

Added the regulator, “36.9% of the equipped international incoming bandwidth capacity was utilized.”

The company which also integrates data, voice, and video over broadband as well mobility into a single solution, is gradually experiencing a tapering off in market share.

One of the biggest asset Africom has been sitting on is its 800mhz frequency, which technically was a gold mine and envy of many mobile network operators, as this is the only range that has real 4G speeds possibilities over long distances.

Potraz, the national Telecommunications regulator in May snapped up the huge chunk which Africom was sitting on as they re-allocate frequency, to accommodate more 4G and LTE players.

Africom is facing hard times, and ever since 2011 when boardroom shakeups disestablished the operation crippling its expansion funding Africom has not got back on its feet.

Interestingly the company is operating in a similar environment with other competitors who have been able to sustain  incoming bandwidth capacity. Even before the current cash crisis, Africom’s capital expenditure has slowed down in line with its shrinking financial performance.

The sector leader Liquid, however, enjoys leverage on regional exposure to springboard its growth as it is able to tap resources. The Econet Wireless controlled company is Africa’s largest in terms of fiber optic coverage.

Liquid gained 2, 5 percent from the previous quarter.

“A comparison with the 1st quarter`s figures shows that Liquid gained 2.5% market share of equipped capacity whereas TelOne, Powertel, Dandemutande and Africom lost 1.2%, 0.5%, 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively,” said Potraz.

.Since 2010 it has been said that no money was invested in the company since 2011 maybe that why there is a slow rise in the company. Whereas Liquid Telecoms is doing great, this year it managed to walk away with 3 Capacity Africa Awards among them was Best Terrestrial Rural Connectivity Project. Liquid’s managerial status is stable and they provide more and better services ( Carrier wholesale, Channel/re-seller, Enterprise, and Retail) to Africom.

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