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Zimbabwe preps MVNO framework to support 'national telecoms evolution'

Zimbabwe , 10 Jul 2019

Zimbabwe preps MVNO framework to support 'national telecoms evolution'

Zimbabwe' Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) has confirmed it will establish a legal framework to license Mobile Virtual Network Operators to provide national services.

While no official date has been announced, the Director General of Potraz, Gift Machengete confirmed the regulator's intention at a parliamentary committee workshop hosted in Nyanga.

Machengete said the regulator is "putting the legal framework in place" as the country prepares for "the evolution of the national telecommuncations sector".

"The goal is to enable more Zimbabweans to access quality telecom services regardless of their urban or rural area of residence," he said.

According to the regulator's report for the fourth quarter of 2018, active mobile subscriptions increased by 1.3% to record 12,908,992 from 12,748,551 recorded in the third quarter of 2018.

The mobile penetration rate in Zimbabwe also increased by 1.2% to reach 93.1% from 91.9% recorded in the third quarter of 2018.

However, mobile network operating costs increased by 5% to record $174.8 million from $166.5 million recorded in the third quarter of 2018.

Tech experts are skeptical and say since 2015, there have been numerous reports of operators launching locally, including when Viva Mobile Network claimed to be on track to launch.

Jenfan Muswere, Zimbabwe's Deputy Minister of ICT, Postal Services and Courier Services, said in addition to this legal framework, the Attorney General's office is also working on a number of other laws aimed at making the ICT sector more sustainable, fair and secure.

"Among the regulatory texts in the pipeline are data protection, child protection, cybersecurity and e-commerce, which should help the government fight against fraud, money laundering and money, embezzlement," Muswere said.

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