The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), has invited bids for the construction of 100 mobile network base stations targeting unserviced areas so as to expand network coverage in the country.
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.
Mobile network base stations
According to the Potraz, the base stations will be constructed in all the country’s provinces except Harare and Bulawayo Metropolitan Provinces.
“The project is planned to be implemented as a Build, Transfer and Operate, public private partnership project.The base station passive infrastructure will accommodate the existing three mobile network operators and provide spare capacity for additional operators. A formal Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued following a review of the Expressions of Interest (Eol) received. Interested parties that demonstrate requisite capability and alignment with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe’s requirements will be invited to submit proposals for the project,” he added.
In addition to that, Hasha Myambo, the manager of the Universal Services Fund (USF) said that each base station will cost between US $400 000 to US $500 000 all depending on the location of the base station.The supplier will undertake the financing and construction of the project and after its completion, hand it over to Potraz. The regulator reimburses the total project investment, on the basis of an agreed schedule.
Once completed, the projects are expected to help improve access to telecommunication services and enhance overall development in the outlying communities. The construction of rural base stations that will bring mobile cellular services to the rural communities include mobile banking services, internet connectivity and high speed data products.