HARARE, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's state-owned fixed line telephone operator TelOne on Thursday launched a world class data center which is part of the national broadband project being funded by China Exim Bank.
Chinese firm Huawei is implementing the national broadband project under a 98 million U.S. dollars China Exim Bank loan facility.
The loan facility is part of the several cooperation agreements that were signed by Zimbabwe and China in Beijing in 2015.
Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira hailed the launch of the data center, saying it was a key project for the Zimbabwean government in its efforts to expand internet connectivity to underserved and rural areas.
"The launch of the data center is an important development worth celebrating as it is in sync with the big data era that the country has entered into making such facilities indispensable," the minister said when he launched the center, which costs 1.64 million U.S. dollars,
TelOne board Chairman Charles Shamu said the firm had to date drawn down 33 million from the China Exim Bank 98 million facility since commencement of the national broadband project in 2016 as the company moves to introduce multimedia services to counter the decline in voice revenues.
He said the data center, the digitalization of several exchanges, convergence and introduction of prepaid billing platform, upgrade of information superhighway of Mutare-Harare-Bulawayo-Plumtree fibre optic backbone link, upgrade of Bulawayo-Victoria Falls microwave radio link and the on-going Bulawayo-Beitbridge fibre backbone link roll-out were some of the projects that had been implemented through the draw down.
TelOne managing director Chipo Mutasa said companies using their data center could cut connectivity costs by up to 35 percent.
"We are pleased to confirm that the facilities we have built are world class, tier 3 meaning we guarantee reliability at 99.982 percent uptime. I therefore implore on all of you to seriously consider us to host you instead of constructing your own centers," she said.
She said TelOne had built this facility to cater for the current and future Information and Communication Technology processing needs of enterprises in Zimbabwe and beyond.
The first of its kind in Zimbabwe, the data center is a centralized location where large amounts of data are stored, processed, accessed and distributed.