US-based voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) service provider Zimfon, which offers its services over Zimbabwean converged services operator Africom’s network, has reportedly responded to the claims that its VoIP services are not in compliance with the country’s telecoms regulations, TechZim reports. According to Zimfon’s representative Brett Chulu, the VoIP services offered by Zimfon (and Africom’s Guroo) are in compliance with international best practices and standards, as they are similar to the VoIP application WhatsApp, which is not restricted in Zimbabwe; both services ask new subscribers to supply their caller ID, do not seek permission from the mobile network operator (MNO) to use customers’ phone numbers and are based in the US. Further, Chulu argues that Zimfon’s strategic partner in Zimbabwe, Africom, complies with POTRAZ’s guidelines in the Know Your Customer (KYC) domain by registering users before they can use any of the services; the executive also claims that Zimfon does a better job in terms of KYC than many other VoIP service providers.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, POTRAZ deputy director Alfred Marisa announced last week that the new VoIP service offered by Zimfon was under investigation as it did not comply with Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulations. Marisa commented: ‘All we can say for now is that the Zimfon’s service does not comply with a number of our requirements,’ adding that Africom’s VoIP service, dubbed ‘Guroo’, is also under investigation to ensure that ‘the service is not used as a conduit for refilling international traffic.’