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Mobile phone infrastructure sharing vital: POTRAZ

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has said mobile phone infrastructure sharing is vital for the growth of the sector and therefore should be promoted and embraced by all players.

Zimbabwe has three mobile phone companies, namely Econet, NetOne and Telecel.

Speaking during the commissioning of a base station at Silonkwe Primary School in Matobo, Matabeleland South, POTRAZ director-general Gift Machengete said the sharing of infrastructure by the three mobile telecommunications companies should be the way to go.

“I am gladly informed that this site is a shared site (Silonkwe) as it will service the other two networks: that is Econet and Telecel, in the interest of infrastructure sharing,” said Machengete.

“You will appreciate that apart from providing wider consumer choice and enhanced service based on competition, infrastructure sharing significantly reduces capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating costs (OPEX). The Maths is simple – where there is infrastructure sharing only three towers can service all the three mobile networks at three different sites. Where there is no infrastructure sharing we would have nine towers for the three sites.”

POTRAZ director-general said as the regulators of the sector, they would want to see the relocation of some boosters to places where there is no network coverage.

“Therefore as your regulator, I am talking to NetOne, we would want to see real progress on relocating those towers which are co-located,” he advised.

“I think the public has noted that at some mountains or hills rather, you actually have three towers, which means all our three operators are represented there. So what we are saying is that they have to share one tower and remove the other two and relocate them to those areas which are underserved. That is the spirit of infrastructure sharing.”

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