Home » Sports » ZIMBABWE TO ROLL OUT NEW PROJECT TO BRING TELECOM SERVICES TO PEOPLE IN OUTLYING AREAS

HARARE, The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) says it will soon be rolling out a multi-million dollar project under the Universal Services Fund (USF) to provide communications services to two million people living in outlying areas where there is currently no access to such facilities.

Potraz is the custodian of the USF, a pool of funds contributed by companies in the sector, meant for the development and provision of telecommunications in under-served areas. Telecommunication companies contribute at least 1.5 per cent of their gross turnover to the fund.

According to an invitation for expression of interest that it advertised in the local media, Potraz intends to have 250 sites constructed across the country.

"A network coverage study conducted by POTRAZ in 2016 established that 314 wards, hosting 354,000 households and a total population of two million people, have no access to basic telecommunication services," it said.

"A preliminary planning exercise for coverage extension conducted by the authority, established that an estimated 250 new rural sites would be required to achieve full population coverage."

The winning bidder is expected to provide funding for construction of at least 80 base stations and associated equipment.

One of the conditions for setting up the equipment is that the country's three mobile network operators -- Econet, NetOne and Telecel -- will be able to share the infrastructure.

"The project is planned to be implemented as a Build, Operate and Transfer public-private partnership project," Potraz said, adding that the USF would be the main vehicle through which the contractor would be repaid.

Potraz has in the past come under fire for failing to put the USF to good use with the government at some point diverting the idle funds to other uses. Econet, the largest telecommunications company by subscriber base, also took the regulator to task for failing to indicate how it used more than 50 million US dollars the firm has contributed to the fund since 2009.

Successful implementation of the project would improve tele-density and enhance overall development in the outlying communities.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

HARARE, The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) says it will soon be rolling out a multi-million dollar project under the Universal Services Fund (USF) to provide communications services to two million people living in outlying areas where there is currently no access to such facilities.

Potraz is the custodian of the USF, a pool of funds contributed by companies in the sector, meant for the development and provision of telecommunications in under-served areas. Telecommunication companies contribute at least 1.5 per cent of their gross turnover to the fund.

According to an invitation for expression of interest that it advertised in the local media, Potraz intends to have 250 sites constructed across the country.

"A network coverage study conducted by POTRAZ in 2016 established that 314 wards, hosting 354,000 households and a total population of two million people, have no access to basic telecommunication services," it said.

"A preliminary planning exercise for coverage extension conducted by the authority, established that an estimated 250 new rural sites would be required to achieve full population coverage."

The winning bidder is expected to provide funding for construction of at least 80 base stations and associated equipment.

One of the conditions for setting up the equipment is that the country's three mobile network operators -- Econet, NetOne and Telecel -- will be able to share the infrastructure.

"The project is planned to be implemented as a Build, Operate and Transfer public-private partnership project," Potraz said, adding that the USF would be the main vehicle through which the contractor would be repaid.

Potraz has in the past come under fire for failing to put the USF to good use with the government at some point diverting the idle funds to other uses. Econet, the largest telecommunications company by subscriber base, also took the regulator to task for failing to indicate how it used more than 50 million US dollars the firm has contributed to the fund since 2009.

Successful implementation of the project would improve tele-density and enhance overall development in the outlying communities.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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