New legislation to force co-operation between Zim mobile operators

Zimbabwe’s Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) is in the process of finalising new licensing agreements with mobile phone operators in the country. The aim is to encourage co-operation between the service providers while keeping the nation up to speed with the latest emerging technologies.

Under the new laws, mobile operators will have to share telecommunications infrastructure, such as base stations (image: stock.xchng)

Operators Econet, Net One and Telecel will be required to accept the new laws when renewing their current contracts, which will come up for review next year.

POTRAZ Director-General Engineer Charles Sibanda said that the new laws will be implemented very soon, and that everything is in place. “The work has been done. What is now left is the announcement by the policymaker and hopefully the announcement will be made soon,” he said.

As part of the new laws, a section has been drafted that will compel mobile operators to share telecommunications infrastructure and adopt sophisticated technologies.

“Our position on infrastructure sharing is that it should be done on commercial grounds. At the moment we do not have legislation in place to enforce that, but it is one issue which will be fully addressed in the new licensing regime,” Sibanda added.

Zimbabwe’s The Herald wrote that infrastructure sharing has been a bit of a problem in the past. “At the moment, the three networks are not fully sharing their infrastructure, reportedly due to disagreements and mistrust. This has resulted in the three companies erecting identical infrastructure such as base stations on the same site instead of just sharing one.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor