Zimbabwe regulator backs Telecel to remain in business

Zimbabwe regulator backs Telecel to remain in business

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) backed troubled operator Telecel to maintain its business after the company saw outages on its networks.

POTRAZ director-general Gift Machengete said the regulator is confident Telecel will remain in business as long as it is able to gain foreign currency for payments.

Data from the regulator comparing Q1 of 2017 to 2021 showed Telecel’s total mobile revenue dropped. It also showed the state-owned operator saw a sharp decline in the share of revenues against rivals, reported The Herald.

“We do not believe Telecel will collapse, their operating licence is intact and they have enough subscribers and running services to sustain their operations.

“Should any mobile network provider decide to stop operations, they are mandated to give ample notice to allow subscribers to move to another network and to also allow subscribers to exhaust their airtime, SMS or data balances,” said Machengete.

He added telecoms companies are prioritised for foreign currency provisions by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The vote of confidence comes after Telecel rebuffed rumours it was shutting down operations after customers experiences severe outages across the country, stemming from expired licenses which have now been paid for and renewed. 

But a Telecel spokesperson revealed last week the operator is seeking funding from several initiatives, as it suffered from rising inflation which has resulted in “spiralling operational costs” which cancels out revenue increases.

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