POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) on Tuesday announced at least 27 bidders had submitted their tender documents by close of deadline on June 30, indicating massive interest in offering services the local telecoms regulator is looking for.
By Hazel Ndebele
Potraz last month advertised for companies interested in the supply of a Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring and Revenue Assurance System (TTMS) in Zimbabwe.
“Potraz is inviting Expression of Interest (EOI) from suitably qualified local and international companies with adequate expertise and experience and with traceable references for the supply, installations and commissioning of TTMS,” read the advert.
In the advert, Potraz states that the establishment of TTMS will enable measurement of all forms of telecommunications (telecoms) interconnection traffic, including money transfer handled by telecoms networks.
The envisaged system shall have capabilities of real-time measurement, monitoring and billing international incoming and outgoing telecom traffic flows between international carriers and operators in the country, including data and internet traffic.
The system will also measure and monitor all mobile money transactions by mobile operators.
It will also detect fraud, tracking and identifying fraudulent routing of telecom traffic at both international and national levels.
Potraz wants a system which shall be scalable to accommodate other applications, including number portability and sim registration.
Those who submitted tender bids include Ghanaian information technology and telecoms provider Subah Infosolutions and South African IT company Gijima holdings.
Subah Infosolutions — which is already doing in Ghana what Potraz wants done locally — offers a monitoring and audit system, revenue assurance and audit, security solutions, telecom services, data centre solution, assembly plant, which is undertaken through licensing arrangements with veritable international end-user equipment providers.
Subah has established partnerships with global companies such as ZTE Corporation, a leading global provider of telecoms equipment and network solutions with operators across 140 countries; Pinnacle Consulting LLC, with offices in the United States, India and Colombia; Gijima holdings and American multinational technology and consulting corporation, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
Other companies interested in the TTMS are: Chinese companies — Huawei, Xing Wang Technologies, Shangai Sunstar Telecom Technology, Connectiva and Analytics and Insight limited, and Enova Technology, Taiji Computer Corporation, China Telecom Global limited and Genew Technologies.
Others are Vas-X billing solutions, United Kingdom-registered companies Neural Technologies, Ascom Network Testing, Agento limited, SFM Technology and Sofrecom, which is a subsidiary of UK mobile network operator Orange.
Asian company International Gateway Technologies, SGS Switzerland, WeDo Technologies, which has its headquarters in Portugal and offices in 15 countries, French company General Engineering Marketing and Zimbabwean trading company Frolgate Technology are also on the list.
Zimbabwe’s three mobile operators, Econet Wireless, Telecel and NetOne have been operating without intensive monitoring such as TTMS, resulting in customers being prejudiced.
The move to introduce TTMS by Potraz will protect mobile users from unfair treatment and ensure quality in services rendered to them by their respective mobile service providers.
Econet Zimbabwe this week announced that its financial services platform, EcoCash, transacted over US$11 billion in the last three and a half years.
Econet head Business and Marketing Development Natalie Jabangwe-Morris said at least 450 million transactions were conducted on the platform with agencies now in excess of 20 000 countrywide.
She said EcoCash wallets are currently at 4,5million while the EcoCash Save platform has 1,5 million accounts.
According to Potraz, as at end of 2014 Econet had a total of 8,9 million subscribers, but only 6,5 million subscribers were active, while Telecel had a total of 4,8 million subscribers even if 2,2 million were active and of NetOne’s 4,3 million subscribers, with 2,7 million active.