ICT Parliamentarians who are currently on a nationwide tour in remote areas, assessing the projects under Universal Service Funds USF have so far hailed the program.
Potraz has been installing base stations around the nation in remote rural areas, some of them not easily accessible but soldiered on in these areas, which to a larger extent are less commercially viable, and avoided by most network operators.
Speaking on behalf of the POTRAZ Director General , POTRAZ head of consumer affairs and publicity george Manyaya briefed the committee in Tsolotsho Pumula base station that they are utilizing the usf and targeting the marginalised areas
“ in a bid to bridge the digital gap and ensure there is ubiquitous availability and access to communication services , the universal services fund (USF) has embarked on the passive infrastructure project. This project is mainly targeted at connecting the underserviced, underserved and underprivileged unconnected areas across the country “
Furthermore, Manyaya said the govt through POTRAZ was intentionally enabling infrastructure sharing and has gotten another level . Over the years POTRAZ was building this sharing culture remember at the beginning the 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 were 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 next step which is the possibility of de-rigging the towers where they are duplicated and deploying them to unserved areas so as POTRAZ we believe this will be a significant mitigating measure on the forex challenges the sector is facing .In addition to the fifteen sites we have also commissioned five multi-operator radio access network (MORAN) sites to make them twenty across the eight rural communities of the country “ he said