Creating a level playing field
Introduction to Frequency Spectrum

Radio Frequency Spectrum

Can be defined as the entire spectrum of electromagnetic frequencies used for communications; includes regulated frequencies used for radio, radar and television and ranges from about 3 KHz to about 300 GHz

The radio frequency spectrum is a limited natural resource and must be used rationally, efficiently and economically, so that countries and groups of countries may have equitable access to it. Radio waves propagate in space with no regard for political frontiers

Radio Spectrum Management

Frequency spectrum management can be defined as various administrative and technical procedures that are intended to ensure the operation of radio stations of different radio communication services at any given time without causing or receiving harmful interference. It takes place at two levels: national and international.

Spectrum Management unit

The radio frequency spectrum management is one of the technical units in POTRAZ, within the Technical Services department. The unit is made up of three main sections;

  • Frequency management and planning
  • Frequency Spectrum monitoring
  • Licensing


The mission of the radio frequency Spectrum Management Unit is to ensure and encourage efficient and minimum interference use of the radio frequency spectrum in Zimbabwe.

The Department’s functions are:

Spectrum Management

  • National Spectrum Planning, allocation and allotment
  • Spectrum Assignment
  • Spectrum User Licensing
  • Spectrum Control (Usage Monitoring, Engineering Analysis)
  • Enforcement (Inspections and investigations)
  • Radio Dealership Licensing
  • Administrative and Legal Issues
  • Develop Spectrum Policies, Terms and Conditions for Accessing Spectrum and enforce the same.
  • Radio Equipment Type Approval
  • International coordination
  • International Representation
  • Spectrum Standards Development, adoption and maintenance.


    • To prepare and regularly review and update the radio frequency spectrum plan for Zimbabwe in line ITU-R Allocation Table and regional radio frequency plans.
    • To identify bands with major frequency demand and plan accordingly.
    • To monitor technological developments and ensure the radio frequency plan can accommodate the developments.
    • To monitor and ensure efficient and equitable use of the radio frequency spectrum.
    • To investigate and resolve all cases of harmful interference on a local, regional and global scale so that radio services and stations coexist compatibly, and thus providing economic benefit to the country‘s infrastructure through access to interference – free, accessible telecommunications services.
    • Ensure acceptable quality of radio and television reception by the general public.

Detect and identify illegal use of the valuable and scarce spectrum resource.

Industrial, Scientific & Medical (ISM)


The industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands are radio bands (portions of the radio spectrum) reserved internationally for the use of radio frequency (RF) energy for industrial, scientific and medical purposes other than communications.Examples of applications in these bands include radio-frequency process heating, microwave ovens, and medical diathermy machines. The powerful emissions of these devices can create electromagnetic interference and disrupt radio communication using the same frequency, so these devices are limited to certain bands of frequencies. In general, communications equipment operating in these bands must tolerate any interference generated by ISM equipment, and users have no regulatory protection from ISM device operation

ISM bands are fully defined by the ITU-R in 5.138, 5.150, and 5.280 of the Radio Regulations.

Licensing Procedure

Licence categories

The following are the types of licences issued by the spectrum management department.

  • PMR – VHF and HF
  • Radio Dealers’ licence
  • Aircraft
  • Ship
  • Radio amateur
  • Type approval certificate
  • Hotspot registration certificate

Private Mobile Radio (VHF and HF)

Application Requirements

An application form must be completed in duplicate and all appropriate fields answered in full.
The answers given form the basis on which a licence is issued and the conditions of that licence.
Use block letters, where not applicable, insert N/A. If any detail of your proposed system is not covered by the application form, please attach a separate letter detailing your requirements.
Assistance should be sought from authorised radio Dealer in completing the field on the technical aspects of the radio system.

The following documents are required on presentations of the application forms:-

  1. Companies
    1. Certified copies of Certificate of Incorporation and CR 14 list of Directors
    2. Proof of residence of one of the directors (original, or certified copy)
    3. Certified copies of National Identity(one supplied in [b])
  2. Individual
    1. Certified copy of National Identity
    2. Proof of residence (original, or certified copy)
  3. NGO and Diplomatic Mission
    1. Memorandum of Agreement with the Government of Zimbabwe
  4. Residents Association
    1. Original Proof of residence of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
    2. Certified copies of National Identity of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
    3. Memorandum of Agreement with Zimbabwe Republic Police (local office)
  5. Farmers Association
    1. Proof of residence of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
    2. Memorandum of Agreement with Zimbabwe Republic Police (local office)
  6. Government Departments
    1. Current Zimbabwe Act which establishes the Government Institution.
    2. Certified copy of National Identity of Chairman / Director / CEO
    3. Original Proof of residence of Chairman / Director / CEO or certified copy
Licence Fees
Licence type Application fee Annual licence fee Annual spectrum usage fee
PMR -VHF 34.50 11.50 per radio 57.50
PMR-HF 34.50 57.50 per radio 57.50
Radio dealears’ 34.50 115.00 —-
Aircraft 34.50 184.00 —-
Ship 34.50 103.50
Radio Amateur 5.00 11.50 —–
Type approval cert. 575.00 —–
WIFI HotSpot registration 10.00 11.50 —–