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Heavy-Handed Regulation of Zimbabwe Mobile Sector Undermines Growth

  • Gibbs Dube

Despite the recent setback to Zimbabwe's mobile phone market, research group Frost & Sullivan projects that the country's mobile communications market will expand to US$1.34 billion by 2016

About two million mobile phone users in Zimbabwe have been disconnected by providers in recent months on orders from the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe for failing to register their SIM cards as required by law.

This has imposed a financial burden on formal and informal businesses alike which have had to purchase new SIM cards given the difficulties in updating user information.

For this and other reasons, economists said, an attempt by POTRAZ to further tighten its regulatory grip on cellular networks in Zimbabwe could hurt the economy.

Despite the recent setback to the market, research group Frost & Sullivan projects that the country's mobile communications market will expand to US$1.34 billion by 2016. It said future growth will be driven by mobile Internet and broadband services.

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