Potraz aims to connect more remote parts of the country

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THE Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) is targeting to put more network base stations in marginalised areas as they want every corner of the country to have network.

Speaking on behalf of Potraz director-general Gift Machengete, the regulator’s head of consumer affairs and publicity George Manyaya told Parliament’s information communication technology committee after a week-long tour that they were utilising the Universal Service Fund (USF) to improve network connection in rural areas.

“In a bid to bridge the digital gap and ensure there is ubiquitous availability and access to communication services, the Universal Services Fund has embarked on the passive infrastructure project.

We want all corners of the country to be connected. This project is mainly targeted at connecting the underserviced, underserved and underprivileged unconnected areas across the country,” Manyaya said.

He added that Potraz is going to make sure that all companies accept infrastructure sharing.

“Over the years Potraz was building this sharing culture. Remember at the beginning they were sharing towers only, but now we moved a step further to help them share transmission power, towers and security at the base station site . The third level, which is deeper, is the multi-operator radio access network (Moran) sites we have commissioned where the operators share the power, base station, transmission and base station controller as well as the network management system and this has completely changed the attitude amongst the operators and has brought harmony.

“We are looking at the next step which is the possibility of derigging the towers where they are duplicated and deploying them to unserved areas, so as Potraz we believe this will be significant mitigating measures on the forex challenges the sector is facing. In addition to the 15 sites, we have also commissioned five multi-operator radio access network (Moran) sites to make them 20 across the eight rural communities of the country,” he said.

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