According to one study cited by the Minister of ICT Kazembe Kazembe statements, infrastructure sharing is something Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) must seriously consider since their costs can be significantly reduced by 16% to 35%.
Apart from providing wider consumer choice and enhanced service-based competition, which in turn promotes creativity and innovation, infrastructure sharing significantly brings down both capital expenditure and operating expenditure cost barriers to participating operators. Through extensive studies, it is now an established fact that through infrastructure sharing, operators realise between 16 percent to 35 percent cost reduction….
Infrastructure sharing has been a moot point in the telecoms sector. Government and other stakeholders have incessantly asked MNO to share infrastructure so as to reduce capital expenditure and increase network coverage. But MNO’s, particularly Econet, have been reluctant to do this. Potraz even tried to ‘coerce’ Econet to bend to its will through some regulations but it never amounted to anything. Rather it left Potraz having to construct infrastructure using USF for all three MNO’s to share. Which is a noble initiative as it somewhat lessens the digital divide.
Whilst the increase of network coverage is one positive effect, of infrastructure sharing for consumers, lowered tariffs that ensue after cost reduction for MNO’s is one effect consumers will be most excited about. As it is Zimbabwe has the most second expensive internet costs, partly because of our geographic location, landlocked (read this article). So we look to infrastructure sharing as our savior to enjoy cheaper and affordable internet.