via Potraz finalises compulsory infrastructure sharing draft | The Herald August 20, 2015
THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) is finalising draft rules for compulsory sharing of infrastructure in the telecoms sector following last month’s directive from Government which gave the sector three months to comply. According to Potraz, infrastructure sharing could cut costs by 15 to 30 percent and reduce individual companies’ capital outlay by 60 percent.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has since expressed concern over high costs of telecommunication services resulting from duplication of investment in infrastructure.
As such, Potraz held its last consultative meeting with the local telecommunication companies in Harare on Tuesday ahead of the last open-house meeting with all the stakeholders at the end of this month.
POTRAZ acting director general Mr Baxton Sirewu said in an interview that after Tuesday’s meeting, only the open-house meeting with all stakeholders will be left before the draft rules are sent to the Attorney General’s office.
“We are now finalising the regulations draft before presenting it to the open house,” he said.
This will entail participation of councils and local authorities.
It is expected that once enforceable, the rules would bring down the cost of telecoms services and promote investment into the sector.
The rules should be ready for implementation before year end.
Potraz contends that sharing infrastructure reduces the time operators require to enter the sector, cuts down barriers and enables Zimbabwe to keep pace with rapid technological developments across the entire world.
Major telecoms companies in Zimbabwe include Econet Wireless, Telecel and State owned mobile operator NetOne, which are mobile networks and TelOne, the State-owned fixed telecommunications company.
A technical expert working group set up by Potraz will examine general principles of sharing, pricing methodology, role of Potraz, role of the Government and its relevant arms.
It will then make recommendations on the modalities of setting up a one stop shop for the establishment of infrastructure sharing.