The government of Zimbabwe is to use USD250 million from its Universal Services Fund (USF) to deploy 600 new wireless towers in rural areas of the country. A report from Daily News says that the rollout will be managed by the country’s telecoms regulator POTRAZ, with local mobile service providers Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel encouraged to use the infrastructure under a new network sharing regime. ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira is quoted as saying: ‘There is consideration for a USD250 million fund which will allow the regulator through USF to put up towers that will be shared by those operators in those areas we believe that investment will help in reducing costs.’
All registered telecoms operators in Zimbabwe must contribute at least 1.5% of their gross revenue to the USF. The first tenders for the construction of the new base stations are expected to be announced later this year.