Like their motto states the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe shed more light on its duties and the necessity of a regulator in every sector of the economy at the [email protected] expo in Bulawayo this is ”creating a level play field” and this is very much important for both the service provider and the consumer.
Speaking at the official opening of the [email protected] expo Potraz Deputy DG as he was giving a presentation to students, academics and a numbers of industry players said;
At times in a certain field you might not have a lot of companies getting into power maybe two or three companies going into power,so in those sectors because of the high capital outlay that is required and the barriers to entry, what normally happens if the sector is left unregulated you have what is called market failure because you can not achieve perfect competition in that particular sector
One could say that this presentation was very much enlightening as people got to actually hear what the regulatory body is all about and what it does. And this presentation came at just the perfect timing as some have grown a certain hatred for POTRAZ since the ban of certain promotions but this was due to ignorance of the role of the regulator.
This also comes at a time when media was awash with bogus statements of POTRAZ being said to have been interfering with mobile networks especially with the recent spreading virus of cyber activism in our country and many of the statements which have their sources being social media with the most starting from.
So as it stand the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is out to see that the big fish in the tele-communications sector do not swallow the small fish hence acting as a facilitator or referee at the same time protecting the consumers from the players in the industry.
Mr Marise went on to say that POTRAZ is there to see that the players in the postal and telecommunications sectors are charging the consumers fairly and no other player is making it difficult for the other player in the game.
The POTRAZ DG went on to say that;
The regulator is not a bad guy, and definitely not there to inhibit the business of players in the sector or to make it so difficult for players in the sector to operate but the regulator is there to create an even,level and fair playing field for all the players in the sector.
He went on to give an example in his presentation saying that in our country we have got the three mobile network service providers, that is Econet, Telecel and NetOne have the same license with the same terms and conditionsand no one has a more favorable conditions hence the game is fair for all.
The regulator is like the empire before the start of a race who makes sure that everyone is on the starting line and no one starts off before the rest of the runners, so truly that can not be a bad thing.
Apart from consumer protection and creating a level play field there is also the issue of resources that are used in providing services,resources such as spectrum and frequency, we then need someone who can manage that spectrum and make sure that is is shared evenly.
As Eng Marise continued with his presentation, I would like to believe that the cloud of ignorance on the issue of POTRAZ that was hanging over most of the delegates was slowly dissolving. He then spoke on the mobile numbers and fixed that we use saying they are considered a finite resource hence they ought to be properly managed because one operator can just grab a block of numbers so as to just push out every other player and the next operator who comes into the game does not even have numbers to use leading to failure to provide services.
Therefore we are not there to make life difficult for people or operators,we are there to facilitate their doing business and our hope is that by creating such an enabling environment our operators can be more innovative.
In his closing remarks Eng Marise said that their hope is that the sector grows to create more opportunities especially for the young generation and encouraged the operators to be heavily invovled in assisting students, those who want to carry research and those that want to go into ICT’s.
So what I am saying is that forget about the horror stories you have heard,we are here to make life easier for you but we are here to ensure that also when you are on the internet you are safe because there is a lot that is happening on the internet and some are there to abuse ICT’s but we are here to ensure that those that are using the internet are also not abusing it