No new mobile licences for Zimbabwe

7 Apr 2016

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) says there is insufficient spectrum to license a new cellco, and future competition in the market will have to come from virtual operators. The country is home to three mobile network operators – Econet, NetOne and Telecel – while state-owned fixed line incumbent TelOne has a cellular concession but has not had the funds to roll out a network. A report from The Herald quotes POTRAZ acting director Baxon Sirewu as saying: ‘When it comes to those who can deploy physical infrastructure, we believe we are constrained by spectrum and we are almost at the edge. If we add more and more operators, we will constrain the operators in terms of the resources that will be made available to them.’ He went on to add: ‘We have to embrace convergence and create a converged environment where mobile virtual network operators can operate.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zimbabwe was home to 12.7 million active mobile subscribers at the end of 2015, with Econet claiming around 53% of the overall market, NetOne 32% and Telecel 15%.