TELEACCESS (Pvt) Ltd, operated by prominent businessman Daniel Shumba, has failed to make the final two firms bidding to operate telephones in South Africa.
TeleAccess yesterday confirmed they had lost the bid to three other bidders.
The company yesterday said: “We lost on the basis of experience. The other bidding firms have been in the industry for an average 10 years.”
TeleAccess received an operating licence last year to become Zimbabwe’s second fixed telephone network after Tel*One, a former subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC).
TeleAccess had made it into the last four, but could not meet the two-year experience required by the South Africans.
“TeleAccess was licensed last year, but at least two years experience in telecommunications was required,” a company official said.
The official said the company had scored highly on technical integration and other issues but experience bogged them down.
Questioned whether the delay to begin operations in Zimbabwe had not contributed to their failure to make it to the final two, the official said: “Even if we had started operations in Zimbabwe we still would have fallen short of the experience required.”
TeleAccess has not yet begun operating in Zimbabwe despite receiving an operator’s licence six months ago.
It now risks facing massive fines from the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).
TeleAccess has however maintained that they are on course to begin operations “soon”. “The phones will be ringing very soon and we are still within the time frame of our deadline,” the official said.