The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe is empowered by the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05] to control and manage the Zimbabwe National Telecommunications Numbering plan. Functions and Powers of the Authority, section 4, of the Act states the numbering functions of the Authority shall be:-

‘To establish, approve or control a national telephone numbering plan for the purpose of ensuring that telephone  numbers are allocated in an efficient and non-discriminatory manner.’

National Numbering Plan Objective

The National Telecommunications Numbering Plan has the main objective of ensuring the smooth flow of telecommunications traffic to end users whilst encouraging competition in the sector by providing adequate numbering ranges for services.

The Country Code (CC) for Zimbabwe is 263.

Numbering Resources Allocation

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is mandated by the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05] to manage the numbering and addressing resources in Zimbabwe.
Numbering and addressing resources are a string of digits, signs or marks that are used for identification of communications systems, type of service or end-user devices for the purpose of delivering communication services.
The Zimbabwe National Numbering Plan (ZNNP) provides the numbering structure and number assignments for the Public Telecommunication Networks in Zimbabwe. The numbering plan is based on ITU-T E.164 recommendations.
The ZNNP document provides information on all numbering and addressing resources assignments in line with the Act. Licensees are allowed to use assigned resources only. Use of un-assigned number is illegal.
Below are some of the numbering and addressing resources assigned by the Authority:

  • Subscriber Number (SN)
  • National Destinations Codes (NDC)
  • Area Codes (Geographic Numbers)
  • Short Codes
  • International Signaling Point Codes (ISPC)
  • National Signaling Point Code (NSPC)

The Country Code (CC) for Zimbabwe is +263

Application Procedure

Telecommunication operators applying for numbering resources allocation or assignment are required to apply direct from the Authority.
The applicant is required to submit a fully completed application form which must be endorsed by the company management.
The application should include:

  1. Purpose of numbering resources
  2. preferred numbering block
  3. dates by which the allocation is required
  4. date service is planned to be operational
  5. Utilisation of existing numbering allocations

The application form should be accompanied by a signed letter on company letterhead.

Number Usage Fees

Numbering resources are divided in various categories and the applicable number usage annual fees are as follow:

Subscriber numbers US$0.10 (10 cents) per unit
Network Destination Codes US$50.00
Premium Rate Service Short Code US$1200.00
Non Premium Rate Short Code US$50.00
International Signalling Point Codes (ISPC) US$50.00
National Signalling Point Codes (NSPC) US$50.00
Mobile Network Identifiers – MNC +NCC US$50.00

Number Assignment

Subscriber numbers are assigned in blocks of 1 000. 10 000, 1 000 000 or more.
Other numbering resources (e.g. short codes) are assigned on demand.

Change of Assigned Numbers

All telecommunications operators are required to notify the authority of any change of subscriber numbering assignments 60 days in advance. This is necessary for the Authority to modify the Zimbabwe National Numbering Plan (ZNNP) and notify the ITU and other Recognised Operating Agencies (ROAs).
Upon receipt of authorisation from the Authority to change number assignment, the Operator is required to issue a NOTICE to the public and the numbers assignees at a reasonable time prior to the date when the anticipated change is to be effected.

Short Codes

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A Short Codes is a special number, shorter than full telephone/mobile number used to access specified services from Mobile or Fixed telecommunication network. Short codes are easier to remember and easier to type than using the entire telephone number.

There are two types of Short Codes offered by POTRAZ.

  1. System Access Short Codes
    System Access Short Codes can be used via SMS, MMS, USSD or dialing. They are 3 digits and dedicated to each operator. Examples of uses of System Short Codes are:

    • Help desk enquiry Code
    • Airtime Recharge Code
    • Balance Enquiry Code
    • USSD Mobile banking
    • Emergency services

    System Access Short codes are unique to each operator and may not be used to access services offered in another network

  2. Premium Rated Short Codes
    POTRAZ has adopted 5 digits for premium rated short codes. These short codes are shared by operators and customers.
    A single premium rate short code for a single service shall be used across all networks. Premium Rate Short Codes are billed at a higher rate than System Access Short Codes or USSD short codes. Premium Rated Short Codes are widely used for Value-Added Services (VAS) such as:

    • television program voting,
    • ordering ringtones,
    • charity donations

Application and Allocation of Short Codes

POTRAZ is mandated by the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05] to manage National Number Resources and the allocation of short codes. Short Codes are allocated to licenced Network Operators who are accountable to the Authority. Customers who wish to use Short codes are required to approach the network operators and agree on terms and conditions pertaining to the use of short code.

  1. Prior to allowing any Network Operator to offer value added services using short codes over its network, the Network Operators shall ensure that the Value Added Network Operator has signed an Agreement with the Network Operator(s).
    The agreement should include:

    • Commercial (sharing of revenue),
    • Technical issues
    • Purpose of Short Code required
    • Preferred short code(s)
    • Dates by which the allocation is required
    • Date service is planned to be operation
  2. The Network Operator shall apply for the short code(s) from the Authority and file the signed Agreement prior to the commencement of the provision of Value Added Services to the public by the Value Added Service Provider.
  3. The Network operator shall use the standard Number Application Form obtained from the Authority.

Costs for Short Codes (excl. VAT)

  • System Access (USSD) Short Codes – USD50 per annum (before 15 % VAT)
  • Premium Rated Short Code – USD1200 per annum (before 15 % VAT)