Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


POTRAZ finally responds to startup misrepresentation & exclusion from mobile networks with a proposed VAS framework

Hilda Mutseyikwa

Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ has finally said that it is going to unveil a framework that will be used to guard against the misrepresentation and exclusion of third party value added services(VAS) providers including startups, from mobile network operators in Zimbabwe.

This was shared by Mrs Hilda Mutseyikwa a director at POTRAZ while responding to questions on their role in interoperability at the ongoing Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference Zimbabwe being held in Harare.

Mutesyikwa highlighted how POTRAZ had received a number of complaints from third party providers about their ideas being stolen by MNOs as well as grievances to do with being blocked from introducing their services on the same mobile networks.

Though no specific date has been set for the introduction of the VAS framwork, the consultative paper that will precede it is set to be shared in the next few months.

Over the past several years technology startups and VAS developers have had issue with the way mobile operators are reluctant to adopt services on their networks which they themseleves are interested in rolling out.

In the absence of an independent VAS aggregator the mobile operators have wielded a lot of influence on what is approved for mobile service use.

Though this is still just talk, a framework that deals with such conflicts will go a long in encouraging startup particpation in mobile solution development which would be a boost for the ecosystem.

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6 thoughts on “POTRAZ finally responds to startup misrepresentation & exclusion from mobile networks with a proposed VAS framework

  1. POTRAZ never regulating – always reacting – very good at building new offices though. They DONT HAVE A PLAN and i also want to see them do things instead of just talking or doing their usual thing


    1. Mark my words: the plan is to legislate rules that will enable a GetCash wallet (by Brainworks) to work on Econet’s network (where the subscriber are). Note that this dovetails with the ministers speech cajoling EcoCash to share its agent network.

      If I’m correct: the levers of the state are being brought to bear to forcefully carve EcoCash’s slice of the pie. Fortunately “indigenisation” can’t be used as cover this time around, just naked corruption for everyone to see.

  2. What are Value Added Services? I think you could have explained what VAS’s are at the beginning of your article for the benefit of the layman. I shouldn’t have to go google somewhere else then come back to re-read the same article (which is exactly what i did). It’s not this first time this has happened, another instance is an article about VIVA Mobile, a ”Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)”. TF is a MVNO? I also had to google and re-read the article thrice to understand it. Your articles makes me feel stupid (which maybe I genuinely am).

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