Zimbabwe’s largest operator Econet Wireless has slammed a government network sharing proposal as a veiled attempt to appropriate its assets.
The operator – which owns around 80% of telecoms infrastructure in the country – has stated that although it is happy to share certain infrastructure with its smaller rivals, it does not expect to benefit from doing so.
“Therefore, the type of infrastructure sharing under debate is not feasible. It is a disguised, unconstitutional form of compulsory acquisition of our infrastructure,” read the statement.
This assertion was shot down by minister for ICT, postal and courier services Supa Mandiwanzira. “The key objective for infrastructure sharing is to make services cheaper for consumers and save the country unnecessary cost of infrastructure importation,” he said.
However, Econet’s concerns are unlikely to be allayed, particularly as the minister also noted that the government was considering founding a new firm that could manage all three of the country’s mobile networks.
Econet leads the market with 9.4 million connections, while state-owned NetOne follows it with 3 million. TelCel, a subsidiary of VimpelCom, takes third place with 2.2 million.