POTRAZ to issue new licences

By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator will allow mobile operators in the country to diversify operations and also force them to share infrastructure under new licences to be issued mid-year.

The current licences of Econet and Telecel expire in June this year and the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe will issue converging licences to allow them to diversify their services.

A senior official in the Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development ministry said the remodelling of the Postal and Telecommunications Act would be completed by June this year to allow POTRAZ to issue the new licences.

The amended act would include the compulsory sharing of infrastructure between operators to reduce operating costs and also tariffs.

“Licences are about to expire and because of technological changes that are happening in the industry we cannot continue to issue operators with the old licence which only allowed an operator to work within the stipulations of that licence. The new licence would allow operators to diversify their products,” said James Madya, a deputy director in the ministry.

He said when Econet and Telecel renew their licences, they would get the new converging licences and to offer diverse products that are not covered in their current licences.

“In order to make POTRAZ a good regulator, we need to come up with policies that would enable them to level the playing field,” said Madya.

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