TELECOMS

Zimbabwe’s ICT Minister in discussion to grant second fixed line licence

Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa said that he would meet the Attorney General to discuss whether TeleAccess can be granted a license to start operations. Chamisa told an ICT breakfast that there was urgent need for the country to have a second fixed line operator to complement TelOne. This would improve service delivery.

"There is need for another fixed telephone line provider and we will engage the Attorney-General to see what is happening with the licence granted to TeleAccess," said Chamisa. "We want to see whether it should continue to possess the licence or we give it to another operator," he added.

TeleAccess, owned by businessman cum politician Daniel Shumba, was granted a licence by the Government to operate a second fixed telephone service in 2003 but legal wrangles have seen the company failing to start operations.

The company failed to meet the deadline to roll out its network within six months as stipulated by the Postal Telecommunication Regulatory Authority and also lacked the financial stamina to kick start the project. Chamisa said the presence of another service provider would complement existing service, enhance and improve service delivery.

Chamisa said his ministry would work towards resuscitating TelOne's aging and vandalised infrastructure. He said the ministry would also engage relevant stakeholders to ensure obstacles that were being faced in sourcing equipment by the industry were removed. Players in the industry had faced challenges such as high duty in procuring equipment."Most technology used in the industry is imported and it has to be understood that ICT equipment is not a luxury," he said.

The Herald

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