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Zim telcos commit to infrastructure sharing

Zim telcos commit to infrastructure sharing

Zimbabwe telecommunications operator Econet Wireless and its closest rival NetOne, the mobile arm of TelOne, have signed a telecom infrastructure sharing agreement.

The move is in compliance with the directives of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).

NetOne plans to leverage Econet Wireless' footprint, while Econet will utilise NetOne's infrastructure to extend its reach in untapped areas.

"We consider this to be a very fair arrangement and believe it represents a giant step in our collective endeavour to bring connectivity and ICT services to all Zimbabweans," said Douglas Mboweni, Econet Wireless chief executive officer.

Lazarus Muchenje, NetOne's Managing Director, described the deal as strategic, adding it would allow NetOne and Econet Wireless to maximise the use of rare currencies by eliminating infrastructure duplication.

"This is a landmark agreement that supports the country's 2030 vision of development, which aims to move Zimbabwe to a middle-class economy," said Muchenje.

Combined, Econet and NetOne serve more than 90% of Zimbabwe's nearly 13 million active mobile network subscribers.

Both operators have agreed to site-sharing parameters, arrangements relating to tower sharing, commercial and back-up power supply, backhaul transmission and security at the shared sites.

Prior to its decision to share its infrastructure with NetOne, Econet Wireless had maintained that sharing infrastructure would be "interesting and profitable" for all, but dependent on other operators first investing in its infrastructure in different regions.

"This would avoid duplication in the extension of the network because the various operators could densify their respective coverages by pooling their different telecom infrastructures," the operator noted.

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