Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Maitengwe finally gets mobile connectivity

by Staff reporter
24 Jul 2018 at 06:54hrs | Views
THE era of reliance on mobile connectivity from neighbouring Botswana is over for Maitengwe community in Bulilima West constituency following yesterday's official commissioning of a shared base station infrastructure in the area, built using resources from the Universal Services Fund (USF).

Locals can now connect to Internet, enjoy voice and data services as well as conducting mobile money transactions across networks as part of the broader e-commerce drive and digital financial inclusion. The country's four major network service providers, TelOne, Econet, Telecel and NetOne, have already set up active network infrastructure and are operating harmoniously under the shared infrastructure model.

The investment has brought cheer to locals who had suffered years of isolation and had to rely on mobile connectivity from Botswana service players.

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) championed the project, which has cost an estimated $400 million, as part of Government's efforts to spread use of information communication technologies (ICTs) and enhancing inclusive national development.

Matabeleland South Provincial Minister of State, Abedinico Ncube, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Cyber Security, Engineer Sam Kundishona and senior Potraz executives witnessed the launch of the new facility at a colourful function that was attended by dozens of people including local traditional leaders.

"Reliance on mobile network from neighbouring Botswana is now a thing of the past," said Minister Ncube in his address. He said many communities in the province require quality network service and implored Potraz to channel more funds to enhance connectivity.

Eng Kundishona, who was representing ICT and Cyber Security Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, said the establishment of the new shared base station was an outcome of collaborative efforts between Government and network service providers. He said there was no going back on the infrastructure sharing model.

Potraz director general, Dr Gift Machengete, said the regulatory authority would thrive to create a level playing field in the sector to enhance increased connectivity and affordability of services.

"Connectivity without affordability is futile," said Dr Machengete who urged all economic stakeholders to play their part to ensure affordability of services to consumers.

Recently Potraz slashed charges for mobile data and Internet services after concluding a cost modelling exercise for telecommunication network services in the country covering mobile, fixed and Internet access networks.

The USF is a pool of funds contributed by all operators licensed by Potraz. These include mobile operators, Internet access providers and the fixed line operator.

Among its purposes the fund is used for the development of telecoms infrastructure in the country and operators are required to contribute part of their annual gross turnover to the fund.

Source - chronicle