Ah, the infrastructure sharing saga. For a long time, the government through the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) pushed for it but it took many years for any deal to be struck.
Econet held up the process but for good reason. When first proposed, infrastructure sharing looked like it would benefit their competitors much more than it would them.
Having invested more than the 2 competitors combined at the time, that was a raw deal. No wonder, NetOne and Telecel were on board from the get go.
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Concessions were made and deals written and rewritten. The forex shortage then made it a no-brainer to share infrastructure, as it meant lower capital outlays for all involved.
POTRAZ promised to chip in and contribute towards shared infrastructure. Now comes the transparency.
This is allowed through SI 137 of 2016
-Telecel, NetOne and Econet are sharing towers at over 267 sites through commercial swap arrangements.
-All the mobile operators are leasing tower space from TelOne.
-Infrastructure sharing has also gone beyond the sector as the mobile operators are leasing towers from the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Transmedia, ZIMRA and Local Authorities (tower lights, high rise buildings).
-Powertel is laying its national fibre backbone over existing electricity pylons.
-Liquid, is also laying fibre optic cables over electricity pylons, in some residential areas, through a commercial agreement with ZESA.
-Use of USF funds for the construction of new Shared base stations in underserved areas (20 completed so far; 3 are work in progress)
-Five (5) Multi-Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN) base stations have been commissioned in Mayobodo, Gachegache, Pumula, Donsa and Muswewenhede .
-Relocation of base stations project: (Another regulatory initiative funded by the USF) So far 3 base stations relocated with 19 relocations planned for 2022)
-Establishment of the Harare Regional Internet Exchange Point ( partially funded by the African Union and POTRAZ)Potraz
There’s a lot to discuss here, not least that there is a place called Muswewenhede (tail of the nhede – don’t know what a nhede is). Discuss we shall but for now let’s stew over what POTRAZ has shared with us.
On the surface it looks like infrastructure sharing has been a success so far. We’ll see if that’s the case.
Infrastructure Sharing: What Are The Opportunities And Complexities?
Econet Finally Agrees To Share It’s Infrastructure
3 thoughts on “POTRAZ shares updates on infrastructure sharing. Econet, NetOne, Telecel sharing towers at over 267 sites”
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Potraz missed an opportunity to rig the figures by including infrastructure sharing by Econet and Liquid
As of October 2021, the total number of operator owned base stations was about 9,000. That means only 3% are being shared. For an SI that is more than 5 years old, I struggle to understand how you can call that a success.