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Telecom firms overcharging customers - Mandiwanzira

by Thobekile Zhou
12 Oct 2016 at 15:33hrs | Views
Telecommunication firms are currently overcharging customers as tariffs are too high, Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira has told parliament.

The government want to force operators to share infrastructure in order to reduce costs and be able to provide reliable services at affordable prices. It is in the process of establishing a framework for infrastructure sharing which will compel both public and private companies in telecommunications to share infrastructure.

The framework is currently awaiting approval at the Attorney General's office.

The framework is a constructive input between the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and the telecommunication companies TelOne, NetOne, Econet and Telecel among others, which will regulate the industry.

Mandiwanzira was responding to a question in parliament today whether infrastructure sharing by firms won't affect tariffs.

"The challenged that we have been having is that telecom firms have been completing to install fibre cables countrywide.

"Sharing of infrastructure would mean that costs are not going to increase.

"We expect that cost saving will be extended to subscribers' who are currently being over charged".

"TelOne has a lot of infrastructure around the country which are being used by Telecel, NetOne and Econet and that's infrastructure sharing."

Mandiwanzira said Econet, NetOne and Telecel are now share infrastructure.

Last year, Mandiwanzira gave Econet Wireless a week to remove its telecoms equipment from state infrastructure after the country's largest mobile operator had described government's directive compelling players in the industry to share infrastructure as tantamount to compulsory acquisition of its infrastructure.

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