The Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has invited all Internet Access Providers (IAPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to a consultative meeting to be held in Harare next week. The purpose of the meeting: to discuss the role of the IAPs and the ISPs.
POTRAZ has been trying to regularize the operations of ISPs lately. Currently, only IAPs are licensed by POTRAZ. This arrangement has problems. Numerous problems actually. Take the ZOL/Telecontract fallout last month for example. A central issue in the row between that two was the “Who owns the customer?” question. Telecontract is a registered IAP while ZOL is an ISP. This particular issue here probably hastened POTRAZ to deal with this issue once and for all.
Currently, there are 12 licensed Internet Access Providers in Zimbabwe, namely (in no particular order) NetOne, Africom, Dandemutande, Aquiva, Ecoweb, PowerTel, Taurai Zimbabwe, TelOne, Telecontract, Aptics Trading, Valley Technologies and CommIT. Of the 12 CommIT has a Class B IAP license. The rest have class A licenses. The difference being that class A licensees are allowed to do VoIP services in addition to the public data and internet networks that class B licensees do.
There’s also the Public Data Network license under which only Broadlands Networks (a company we’ve written about here and here) and Qualtime Investments are licensed. Please click here to view an article with a presentation of Zimbabwe’s telecommunications industry by POTRAZ.