The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has today launched a consultative process to come up with a framework for the regulation of value added services. They kicked off the process with a workshop in Harare.
What are value added services?
Generally within the telecommunications industry, value added services are any services offered by telcos outside of their core telecommunications business. Essentially these are services that are not merely voice, SMS and data transmission.
The suit of such services is becoming more diverse each day and the line between those services and what is considered core telco business is blurring up. Traditional, VAS are considered as side income streams but really the trend is that they are increasingly becoming more integrated to the core and operators need them more and more to grow their businesses.
Examples of value added services are call ringtone services like Buddie Beatz and of course mobile money services like OneMoney and EcoCash. Now you see why it doesn’t make sense to view VAS as a mere side gig. Mobile money shows that these services can and probably will be the biggest drivers of growth for telcos.
What is POTRAZ looking for?
To understand what POTRAZ seeks to achieve with this consultative process you can check out their objectives:
To examine the various challenges facing the VAS industry
To seek stakeholder recommendations to the challenges facing the VAS industry
To come up with a harmonised framework for ushering growth in all segments of
the VAS value chain
To develop a framework that will enable benefits to consumers, promote
entrepreneurship and at the same time creating additional revenue streams.
To promote effective cooperation and collaboration amongst various participants
for a healthy eco system for provision of value added services
Their underlying motivation is to:
seek public feedback and solicit views from stakeholders in the industry in order to come up with a framework that ensures strong sector growth anchored on innovation, fair competition, affordability and good quality of services.
How do you participate?
For the next 2 months, POTRAZ will be accepting your views and contributions. You can download the consultative paper here. You can then share your thoughts according to the instructions therein.