In a bid to extend network coverage in rural and remote areas, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is inviting expressions of interest from qualified companies for the design, construction and commissioning of shared telecommunications towers as well as elated passive infrastructure as the regulator plans to construct 100 base stations.
In a tender statement, Potraz said the qualified firms should submit their expressions of interest by 20 September 2019. The project will be funded using resources from the Universal Services Fund (USF), a pool of funds contributed by companies in the telecommunications sector and meant for the development and provision of telecommunications in under-serviced areas.
The project is planned to be implemented as a turnkey vendor-financed Build and Transfer (BT) joint venture agreement. The supplier undertakes the financing and construction of the project and after its completion, hands it over to POTRAZ. The regulator will then reimburse the total project investment, on the basis of an agreed schedule.
"The base station passive infrastructure should accommodate the existing three mobile network operators and provide spare capacity for additional operators," said POTRAZ.
If the project is deemed successful it will help improve access to telecommunication services and enhance overall development in the marginalized areas in the country. This project will exclude Harare and Bulawayo.