By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Zimbabwe`s Telecommunications regulator, The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe ( Potraz), has just announced that it has renewed the Telecel Licence.
After a tight lipped process on the negotiation by all the players, Potraz has finally come out and announced that they are relicensing Telecel much to the excitement of millions of subscribers who closely watch how the battle between Telecel and Econet emanates.
Previously Econet had played regulator by invoking a chapter that makes it illegal for any registered mobile operator to interconnect with a non licenced operator, although they were fully aware of the same law all along, Econet seemed to be awake to the law just after Telecel offered serious promotions across network.
In the meantime Econet was also recycling some marketing strategies to try and win out some subscribers who reactivate dormant lines.
In a move that is likely to turn the scene ugly, the government and Telecel Zimbabwe have reached an agreement to relicense Telecel after it paid its licence fee.
We are likely to see Econet drag its feet in reconnecting Telecel, or maybe see some Throttling tactics or probably Econet will just do the honorable thing and reconnect their competitor urgently and compete on a level playing field since the “reason for termination” has been rectified.
All players have refused to divulge how much was actually paid for the licence, while Econet Wireless also paid $85 million as part of their $137 million licence for the next 20 years and now required to pay $52 million
Potraz had this short statement to say:
Having noted the conclusion of negotiations between the Government of Zimbabwe and Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited regarding the renewal of Telecel Zimbabwe ‘Private’ Limited’s National Mobile telecommunication licence, the Authority hereby advises members of the public that Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited’s Mobile telecommunication licence has been renewed.
In reaching this decision, the Authority, in particular, took note of the commitment made by Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited to comply with the requirement to have a local majority shareholding, in line with section 36 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act, the Indigenisation Act and the Telecel Shareholding Agreement.