Zimbabwean operators must share infrastructure

14 November 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


New draft regulations have made it compulsory for Zimbabwean operators to share infrastructure, including base transceiver stations and controllers.

The regulations, which also affect multi-service access gateways, switching centres, mobile money transfer platforms and network management systems, by the Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) seek to eliminate unnecessary duplication and to maximise the use of existing and future telecommunication infrastructure. Existing assets with limited “capacity for sharing” may be exempt, reported iTWebAFRICA.

POTRAZ, which has been a firm advocate of network sharing, says the plans could cut capital expenditure by up to 60% and lead to savings passed on to consumers. It will oversee all issue concerning infrastructure sharing, which includes carrying out audits and enforcing standards.

“In relation to these regulations, the Authority shall exercise licensing and regulatory powers in respect of infrastructure sharing,” reads Statutory Instrument (SI) 137 of 2016 published on Friday. “The Authority shall determine categories and sites for telecommunication infrastructure sharing in the public interest as well as to review and monitor sharing arrangements.”

The SI added: “All telecommunications licence holders shall submit existing infrastructure sharing arrangements for approval within three months from the effective date of these regulations.”

Econnet Wireless is against the plans as it says it has invested vast amounts on its network rollouts, only for rivals to now easily access them.