Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) intends to construct 100 base stations in rural areas that are not covered and will carry all mobile network operators as envisaged in the Government’s shared infrastructure policy.
POTRAZ has since invited expressions of interest from companies that are able to design, construct and commission the shared telecommunications towers under General Notice 1465 of 2019 published in the Extraordinary Government Gazette of August 23.
“The POTRAZ invites expressions of interest from qualified companies for the ‘designing’, constructing and commissioning of shared telecommunications towers and related passive infrastructure,” reads the notice
“In pursuit of its mandate under the Universal Services Fund POTRAZ intends to extend rural coverage by constructing 100 base stations in uncovered rural and remote areas in Zimbabwe.
“The base station passive infrastructure should accommodate the existing three mobile network operators and provide spare capacity for additional operators.”
POTRAZ said interested parties should demonstrate capability and meet Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) requirements.
“A formal request for proposal will be issued following a review of Expressions of Interest received. Interested parties that demonstrate requisite capability and alignment with the PRAZ’s requirements will be invited to submit proposals for the project.
“The project is planned to be implemented as a turnkey vendor financed Build and Transfer Joint Venture agreement. The supplier undertakes the financing and construction of the project and after its completion hands it over to POTRAZ. POTRAZ reimburses the total project investment on the basis of an agreed schedule,” further reads the notice.
Interested parties have up to September 20 to submit their expressions of interest.
The expansion of mobile and telecommunications coverage in the country is one of the goals under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
POTRAZ has been directed to use the Universal Services Fund, which comes from levies collected from service providers to boost infrastructure needed to improve communication.
Apart from constructing base stations, the money has also been used to construct community information centres that provide Internet and other communication services to marginalised communities.