Powertel Communications, a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, aims to connect mining companies to the Internet of Things (loT) technology as it seeks to increase business efficiency and competitiveness as an internet access provider, assuring nations that it will connect the internet to unconnected areas.
The internet is the company’s lifeblood, and connecting to the sector that generates the most foreign currency in Zimbabwe is vital because it will assist sensors that collect critical data, analyse it in real time, and communicate the best action to be done for a mining operation. The Internet of Things improves worker productivity and performance.
Powertel Commercial Director, Prosper Mutswiri, said during a customer interface in Harare that the company is fully equipped and guarantees its customers that it will provide a network to the unconnected and connect new mines that its sister company ZETDC is connecting electricity to.
There are mines that are coming, and we will also be in these areas where ZETDC has connected electricity, and we are going to mine and connect you in the most effective ways. We have done that to Munyati Mine; we are doing that to Kariba Power Station; and we are doing that to Hwange Power Station.
The company is capitalising on the ZETDC pillion, meaning that its fibre is hanged up on the power lines, and wherever there are power lines, there will be internet in the area. “We are coming there to areas that are not yet connected as the company is using Pillion as there is a clear strategy where ever there is a connection of ZESA, there is automatically a connection of the internet,” he added.
To achieve this goal, the company has budgeted over US$50 million for this year, which is meant for the upgrade of internet connectivity.
Powertel operates an optic fibre backbone network, an optic fibre distribution network, and optic fibre and wireless access networks.
As digital technologies advance and use cases are steadily developed and proven, and the digital era opens up endless possibilities and opportunities, South Africa’s journey to an integrated fifth-generation (5G) mine is well underway, and Zimbabwe is following suit, which will see the sector achieve responsible mining and its goals.
With the use of different digital technologies, such as 5G connectivity, becoming increasingly important to mining profitability, more mining firms are investing in the digital ecosystems required to compete in the global mineral and resources arena – Harare