With only ,on 16 days left before the expiry of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe`s licence!
We recently attended a press briefing where the minister Of Transport , communications and Infrastructure development, Honourable Goche broke the silence on on the mobile operators licensing issue.
GOVERNMENT has hiked mobile phone operators’ licence renewal fees by 37 percent to US$137.5 million while the tenure for the same licence was extended from 15 years to 20-year tenure.
During a question and answer session, the minister was asked if the increase was done to cater for elections and he replied” Treasury would do what it deemed fit with the money.”
Here is the full text of the speech by the minister, buy the way mobile operators do not fall under the ministry of ICT but Hon Goche`s.
With The advent of the liberization of the telecommunications era, the government issued mobile licences to two privately owned operators , Econet Wireless and Telecel Zimbabwe in 1998.
The Licence were for 15 years tenure , and the and the basic licence fee for each for each licence was set at U$100 million,
In addition, operators also paid annual licence fees , spectrum fees and made a contribution to the Universal Service Fund , whose objective is to extend services to rural and other under-served areas.
In line with the terms and conditions set out in their licences, the affected operators have applied for their renewal In this regard , over the last few months , the government has been seized with a reviews process for the licence fees payables, as well as other terms and conditions.
Specifically, my ministry and the ministry of finance have held consultations with the players in the industry and other interested stakeholders. Comparative studies were also done , both at regional and international level to enable the government to come up with an informed decision which meets government `s expectations but also allows for the industry to flourish
I am now pleased to announce that the licence fee for the renewal of the mobile licence has been set at $137,5 million for a 20 year tenure.
In addition, operators will pay an annual licence fee(2% of audited annual gross turnover), and contribute to the Universal Service Fund (0.5% of audited annual gross turnover). They will also pay frequency spectrum fees in accordance with their different requirements of that limited national resource.
The scope of the licence will remain substantially the same as the current licence this means the licences will cover the range of service that are commonly referred to as 2g through to 3G services beyond that will require formal licence adjustments.
These licensing conditions will apply to all mobile operators in the country as and when their licences come up for renewal. I am therefore pleased to announce that already one of the operators whose licence expires on the 10th of July 2013.
Econet Wireless, has had its application for renewal approved by the regulator , POTRAZ, and a new 20 year licence issued on the terms and conditions that I have just referred to
Hon N T Goche
Minister Of Transport , communications and Infrastructure development.