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Potraz working on 5G roadmap



POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has availed spectrum for 5G trials and is working on a comprehensive roadmap for the technology.


To ensure 5G cascades to remote parts, Potraz is also funding the deployment of high-capacity fibre beginning with a 120-kilometre backbone link between Rutenga and Chikombedzi.

In commemorating International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), Potraz director-general Gift Machengete said the authority was ensuring everyone had access to information.

“Our efforts are, however, but a drop in the ocean, compared to what is needed to be done in order to leap frog and close the digital divide,” Machengete said.

“We, therefore, cannot go it alone. We need everyone to put shoulder to the deck. There is need for collaborative effort. Additionally, to ensure universal access to information, Potraz is funding the relocation of collocated towers around the country to ensure communities in these remote rural areas have at least 2G connectivity and participate in the digital economy.”

He said it was worrying that Zimbabwe was still grappling to attain at least 2G in all parts of the country to enable universal access to basic telecommunications services, from the year 2020, the developed world had moved to 5G.
“This ushered in the world of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.

“With the speed at which 5G technology is evolving, the technological gap between the developed and developing countries is widening much further and faster and that gap may take perpetuity to bridge and we would be left further behind if nothing is done,” he said.  

Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information.

The United Nations Internet Governance Forum identifies access to knowledge and information as important in today’s digital world.

“This comes from a realisation that the ICTs and the Internet play an integral role in facilitating the sharing of information.

“As the ICT sector regulator our mandate is to ensure there is an enabling environment for information to flow freely and for information to reach as far and wide as possible.

“In so doing and in the spirit of leaving no one and no place behind in the information highway, Potraz has been rolling out a number of ICT access and use programmes and projects,” he said.

One such project is the Community Information Centres (CICs), which saw the launch of Zhombe CIC.

Zhombe CIC is one among a host of many other CICs dotted around the country, 170 in total and an additional 32 are on the way.

“On that note, we stand in solidarity with the ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Unesco and other stakeholders here present in the quest of bringing universal access to ICTs, which translates to universal access to information,” he said. 

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