The country’s mobile phone operators Econet, NetOne and Telecel are due to renew their operating licences next year and would be required to comply with the new laws.
Eng Sibanda said the new laws would come into force soon. “The work has been done. What is now left is the announcement by the policy maker and hopefully the announcement will be made soon,” he said.
The new changes in the licensing regime include compulsory infrastructure sharing for telecom operators, and adoption of new sophisticated technologies.
“Our position on infrastructure sharing is that it should be done on commercial grounds. At the moment we do not have legislation in place to enforce that but it is one issue which will be fully addressed in the new licensing regime,” Eng Sibanda said.
At the moment, the three networks are not fully sharing their infrastructure, reportedly due to disagreements and mistrust.
This has resulted in the three companies building similar infrastructure such as base stations on the same site instead of just sharing one.
Sharing is also anticipated to reduce the costs of laying out networks for the companies, which would in turn result in lower charges for consumers. — New Ziana