Creating a level playing field
When did POTRAZ started operating and using what legal instrument?
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe was formed through the Postal and Telecommunications Act, Chapter 12:05 of 2000 and it started operating in September 2001.
Which license categories fall under POTRAZ?
Categories of licences issued by POTRAZ are as follows;
  1. Public Switched Telephone Network License (TelOne)
  2. Public Cellular Telecommunications Network Licenses (Econet, NetOne and Telecel)
  3. Internet Access Provider (IAP) – Class A (e.g. TelOne, Liquid, Powertel, Telecontract, Africom, Aquiva, Broadcom, Spiritage, Bluesat, Aptics, Dandemutande, ComIT) and Class B (e.g. NetOne)
  4. Public Data (Broadlands)
  5. Postal General (Zimpost)
  6. Commercial Courier (Domestic and International)
  7. Private Network licences(e.g. Banks, NGOs, Private Organisations)
  8. Private Mobile Radios (VHF, HF, Aircraft, Ship, Amateur)
  9. Approved Telecommunications Equipment Dealership Licences
What are the general requirements for public licenses?
  1. Applicant must be a locally registered company
  2. Local shareholding must be more than 50%.
  3. Foreign shareholding should not exceed 49%.
  4. Applicant should prove beyond doubt the capability to roll out services - Business plan and project proposals required.
  5. Applicant must provide strong financial capability – Proof of funds and cash flow analysis for 5 years required.
  6. Applicant should have technical capabilities to rollout services – CVs for top project team/management required.
Are we allowed to roll-out services in the 2.4 GHZ band? (ISM)
ISM stands for Industrial, Scientific and Medical. This is a frequency band used by low power Industrial and Medical appliances and devices as well as for Scientific Research among others. Generally, those who use this band are not protected by the Authority from interference emanating from other users in the same frequency band. In Zimbabwe ISM bands are not allowed to roll out commercial services except for Wi-Fi hotspots. In an effort to create order, the Authority issued guidelines to users of this band for internet hotspots regarding the power output expected for any installation.
Who allocates spectrum to individual countries and how does it function
The International Telecommunication Union, (ITU), is responsible for managing use of Spectrum internationally. The World is divided into 4 regions (Europe and Africa form region 1). The ITU then allocated certain frequency bands which can be used in each of the 4 regions.