NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service was launched in Harare during the World Solar Summit in September 1996
|Founded||September 16, 1996 in Harare, Zimbabwe|
|Headquarters||16th Floor Kopje Plaza Building, 1 Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe|
Footnotes / references|
Mon - Fri 0800 hrs - 1530 hrs
Sat 0800 hrs - 1130 hrs
Sun & Public Holidays CLOSED
Contact Number +263-4-775361/6/7, 750607 – 9
NetOne was launced in Harare in 1996 during the World Solar Summit in September where 500 lines were sold to the public for use. They went on to increase the subscriber base to 2000 and service was eventually moved to Bulawayo the following year. While the company was initially concentrated in major towns such as Bulawayo and Harare, it has managed to install bases to ensure coverage nationwide.
Products and Services Offered
Internet Services and Coverage
Netone offers internet services which has been said to extend most parts of Zimbabwe in areas such as Matebeleland, Masvingo, Harare and Chitungwiza, Norton and Manicaland. The internet service offered by the company has been said to one of the most affordable compared to other operators in the industry such as Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.
Vehicle Tracking System
Vehicle tracking system is one of the services that is offered by NetOne which uses Global Positioning System (GPS) which allows them to pin point the exact location of the vehicle and speed of the vehicle at any time of the day. The service also includes vehicles recovery which makes it a handy service for fleet managers for the benefit of reduced fuel costs and lower maintenance costs.
Short Messaging Service
SMS is another service offered by the service provider which allows customers to send text messages to other subscribers on the network and other networks as well
Emergency Airtime Service
Under the facility, customers are allowed to borrow airtime of up to 50 cents from the operator for emergency purposes. The credit facility is extended with no extra charges taxed from the subscriber which separates the facility from other networks such as Econet which then tax a small amount when the subscriber tops up their airtime.
- 1996 Launched the first cellular service in Zimbabwe.
- 1997 NetOne supported 20 000 subscribers geographically throughout Zimbabwe.
- 1998 NetOne Launches prepaid cellular services
- 2001 NetOne received GSM Best Advert award which promoted safe use of cell phones while driving.
- 2003 NetOne received BID award for world quality commitment
- 2003 NetOne won the best stand design at ZITF and won second best overall design
- 2007 NetOne commissioned a second Mobile Switching Centre (MSC) in Bulawayo.
- 2009 NetOne launched IN VAS service like Free call me back facility, Indirect transfer of airtime, Indirect recharging and Friends and family.
- 2010 NetOne launched OneWallet mobile financial services.
Despite having leap frogged other players in the industry to be the first mobile network operator, the company has not had a very large subscriber base, especially considering its early entry into the industry. Statistics from POTRAZ have claimed that Netone is the third most subscribed to network after Econet and Telecel.
- One SOS
- One Wallet
- One Help
- One Info
The company offered disaster relief communications in the middle Sabi following the cyclone Eline disaster.
Involvement with Soccer
Netone bankrolled a soccer knockout tournament for three years
Corruption at NetOne
There have been several scandals at the company which range from misuse of funds to the flouting of tender procedures within the company.
In 2013 it was reported that the company was prejudiced of several million dollars through flouted tender procedures, outright fraud and misappropriation of income from the sale of airtime recharge cards while employees who dared speak out were allegedly victimised.
The top management trio of Reward Kangai, Memory Ndiya Mandoro and Godfrey Tarupuwa were said to be the chief culprits at the centre of the shady business deals. It was also alleged that although NetOne was the first company locally to establish mobile money transfer services but the top management is said to have sold the idea to competitors. The managing director was also accused of paying for his daughter's university education directly from the company. The managing director however denied the allegations claiming that he only paid his daughter's fees through a loan given to him by the company.
The workers were also said to be crying foul over the purchase of Kangai’s Mercedes Benz E-class using airtime vouchers and simcards contravening company procedures in the process. At one point manager Rudo Shopo was said to have sold airtime worth over US$42,500 but converted the money to personal use.