The Government of Zimbabwe seems to be turning the volume again on proposals to make infrastructure sharing for telecoms companies in a bid to minimize duplication and improve customer experience. This pertinent issue has been on the cards since last year when the government came on strong about it, but network operators paid no attention to the bid.
Yet, now, the call is becoming even louder.
The Zimbabwean telecoms industry is plagued by many problems influenced by high investment costs in network infrastructure such as base stations and specialized equipment. Collectively, this factor cuts across networks and symptoms can be seen through high service tariffs, stunted expansion of network range and even, poor service delivery.
Establishment of legislation of mandatory network infrastructure sharing will see a regulated partnership of competitors in setting up and maintaining network infrastructure, thus reducing investment costs. Ultimately, the governing bodies anticipate a reduction in the tariffs for end-users, as advocated by Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Munesu Mudowafa.
Infrastructure sharing is not a rare sight in other countries, especially in developed countries and even neighboring South Africa.
Infrastructure sharing can also come in as a big move to level out the playing field for competition, while more importantly, market penetration is made easier for prospective players.