Is Zimbabwe set to force telcos to share infrastructure?

(Image Source: .financialgazette.co.zw)

(Image Source: .financialgazette.co.zw)
Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira (Image Source: .financialgazette.co.zw)

According to a report by thestandard.co.zw, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has allegedly stated that government would force infrastructure sharing among service providers. The move is set to improve telecommunication and data services in Zimbabwe.

According to the report, Mandiwanzira stated that there was need to have a policy that restricted service providers to their core services and not infrastructure development.

The report also revealed that Mandiwanzira stated that there was confusion among government’s service providers as they were competing against each other to offer data services to the people.

“Why is there so much infrastructure development within the ICT sector yet the operators can share the infrastructure,” he said according to the report.

“Each tower costs money to put up, electricity costs money, generators cost money and even the guard manning the tower needs to be paid, yet one tower can actually look after everyone’s needs.”

Mandiwanzira added that: “We are not clear and we don’t have an ICT policy that defines the way we should shepherd the industry. We are making Zimbabwe suffer because of our own selfish individual interests,” this is according to report by thestandard.co.zw.

According to the report Mandiwanzira  allegedly said it was not proper to have several government entities such as TelOne and Powertel among others competing against themselves in deploying fibre.

He said there was need to work together so that money is saved to deploy fibre to other areas which were not being covered currently. The ICT minister said in the event that persuasion failed to bring the desired results, the ministry would force infrastructure sharing through legislation. Mandiwanzira also said his ministry would look into high rates being charged by mobile operators when transferring money.

Staff Writer