netone.jpgOne of Zimbabwe’s mobile network operators, NetOne is reported to be in talks with a South African telecommunication company as part of its efforts to secure a partner by the second quarter of 2011.

Net One, which is wholly owned by the government, has revealed its plan to engage a strategic partner to revitalise some of its existing telecommunications infrastructure as well as installing new equipment to meet the modern technologic services.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Reward Kangai, told investors at the recent Zimbabwe Investment Conference that government is ready to relinquish 49% stake in the telecommunication entity.

“The idea is that if we get a strategic partner with the necessary muscle, we will be able to increase the value for that 51%. Definitely for now we are looking at 49% being offloaded.”

“We are still discussing and we are looking at possibly partnering a mobile network operator present in Africa and Africa and beyond. Unfortunately I can not disclose the details at the moment,” Mr Kangai said.

Among the partners the company is reported to be in talks with is one of South Africa’s biggest telecommunication company, MTN.

Mr Kangai said the decision of roping-in a strategic partner has been taken as a way to cushion government from huge amounts of investment required to install new technology such as low earth orbit satellites.

The country has mobile subscriber base of 7,4 million mobile subscribers with telephone penetration rate pegged at 58 phones per every 100 people in the country.