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TeleAccess misses launch deadline

Shakeman Mugari

TELEACCESS (Pvt) Ltd is likely to miss its June 1 launch deadline as it has not set up sufficient infrastructure to start operations, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week


An official at TeleAccess confirmed that the company would not meet the deadline set by the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

The official said TeleAccess was still shipping out the required technology. Despite being awarded an operating licence five months ago, TeleAccess only has a single base station in Newlands, which has about 112 000 lines.

The company is yet to install satellite base stations to connect subscribers.

The telecommunications company is also still to sign interconnecting agreements with other networks which include Econet, Net*One and Telecel. TeleAccess could not give an exact date on when it will commence operations.

In a statement TeleAccess, which fought a bitter war with government to get a licence, said it envisaged that services would be launched “very soon in line with the rollout strategy”. But it did not give a definite date.

Sources close to the company told the Independent this week that TeleAccess was yet to sign agreements with the other networks. An official from Econet confirmed they didn’t have an agreement with TeleAccess.

“We have not signed any interconnecting agreement with TeleAccess,” he said.

Former monopoly holders Tel*One and Net*One also said they had not signed interconnecting agreements with TeleAccess.

Interconnecting agreements link subscribers from different networks. For TeleAccess’ subscribers to connect with subscribers from Econet or Telecel, there has to be network interconnections.

The Postal and Telecommunications Act states that interconnecting agreements between the networks are subject to approval by Potraz. With less than three weeks before deadline TeleAccess has yet to lodge its proposed agreements with the regulatory authority.

“Even if they start operations today, their customers will not be connected to other networks because there is no agreement,” said a telecommunications engineer.

TeleAccess has not submitted a report to Potraz as required by the Postal and Telecommunications Act.

Potraz director-general, Dr Cuthbert Chidori, said Potraz had since requested TeleAccess to provide a status report of its projects and that further developments would hinge on the report.

Daniel Shumba’s company now faces heavy fines or loss of its operating licence if it fails to switch on early next month.

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