Information Communication Technology (ICT) Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira last Wednesday told Parliament the project would cater for more than 500 mobile phone towers.
“There is a project that is currently being worked on by Potraz to the tune of $250 million where the intention is to build more than 500 mobile phone towers that should be shared by all network operators in areas that are under-served,” he said.
Minister Mandiwanzira also urged network operators to put into consideration building infrastructure in non-urban areas because it is their responsibility to cater for urban and non-urban areas in providing network.
“We also expect that licensed operators must not just put up infrastructure in urban centres because they also have a responsibility to serve those Zimbabweans who do not reside in urban centres.”
“So we also expect that their investment goes to areas that are unserved or under-served,” said Min Mandiwanzira.
He stressed that the Universal Services Fund (USF) contributed to by all telecommunication service providers was also catering for under-served areas.
Potraz is the custodian of the USF, a pool of funds contributed by companies in the sector meant for the development and provision of telecommunications in under-serviced areas.
“The objective of that fund is to ensure that there is investment of telecommunication infrastructure or services in areas that are unserved or under-served,” Min Mandiwanzira said.
Last year, Potraz said it would be rolling out a multi-million dollar project under the USF.
The project will provide communication services to two million people living in outlying areas where there is no access to the facilities.