The biggest telecoms issue in Zimbabwe is now a reality, welcome SI 137 of 2016: the Infrastructure Sharing Regulation

The Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, has, after consultation with the Regulating Authority (POTRAZ) passed a new regulation, Statutory Instrument 137 of 2016 for Infrastructure Sharing. which applies to telecommunication license holders in Zimbabwe.

The regulations were quietly passed on Friday 4 November on what is probably the biggest telecoms issue in Zimbabwe.

The regulations could soon become a legal battle between the Ministry and its Regulator and MNOs not willing to share their capital intensive infrastructure built up over years of operating in Zimbabwe.

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We just got our hands on a copy of the SI, as stated in the document its main objective is to provide infrastructure sharing among license holders in order to:

  1. eliminate unnecessary duplication of telecommunication
    infrastructure;
  2. maximize the use of existing and future telecommunication infrastructure;
  3. minimize negative public health,safety and environmental impact caused by the proliferation of telecommunication infrastructure installations;
  4. promote the orderly and effective town and country planning in the provision of telecommunication services;
  5. ensure the provision of sufficient telecommunication infrastructure in the country;
These are the 5 reasons Government decided to make the practice of infrastructure sharing a regulation in Zimbabwe.
POTRAZ as the regulatory authority will oversee all issues concerning infrastructure sharing which include but not limited to exercise licensing and regulatory powers in respect of infrastructure sharing; carry out infrastructure audits and identify sharable infrastructure, and enforce technical and commercial standards for infrastructure sharing.
Where a telecommunication license holder contravenes sections of the SI, they are liable to face a penalty in accordance to POTRAZ’s Statutory Instrument 162 of 2008 which interestingly  only has penalties of failing to share infrastructure under Internet Access Providers and Aeronautical license holders.
You can read on some of our background work on this issue in the following articles:

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can the government allow “a fourth force” who will install, upgrade and maintain infrastructure that will then be shared. You can not merge these companies to create one giant parastal, it will be disastrous.

    1. Mercy says:

      Is the Govnt not known for that?

  2. LMMMTNyati says:

    So others invest in their own infrastructure for free and others just use, who will own the infrastructure and who will maintain it as other providers’ balance books are permanently red, or its just grab and smash because you never paid for it. At least the international investors can come to invest their own hard cash for us business vampires. The state telcos remain in debts and will sharing make them pay dividends oh!! my God which government entity has ever paid any to the government as the shareholder or its loss making business operations as usual since 1980, but what I know is that the best bricks made in Egypt where done by the children of the Lord, using spittle, wee and grass for burning the bricks.

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