The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) says that it is not possible to issue additional licences for mobile network operators (MNOs). Zimbabwe currently has three MNOs, namely, Econet, NetOne and Telecel. POTRAZ director technical services Engineer Baxton Sirewu had this to say
… we have to leave within the limits of the spectrum that is available. Number two, the size of Zimbabwe in terms of the territorial area does not allow for segmentation and regional licensing.
It does not make a lot of good reason to say licence an operator to provide 3G services in Northern Zimbabwe and another one in Southern Zimbabwe.
But when you go to India, it is a large country, they can segment, so if you hear someone saying India has 10 GSM operators, it is because they are regional operators. So our view is that the way to go is through the route of converged licence framework.
You have suppliers of the infrastructure and they can be as many as those allocated spectra optimally so that the number does not impede the capacity of the network. That way we believe we will address the expectation.
I must hasten to say with convergence again, the line between classical mobile operators and fixed operators is blurred because even TelOne has LTE spectrum Africom and Powertel have LTE spectrum.
As a country, it would be difficult to partner. These technology companies partner operators. As Potraz, we can facilitate or make available spectrum for sharing, that is if an interest is expressed by a respective operator.