9 January 2013

Zimbabwe: BCC, Telecel At Loggerheads Over Base Stations

In its latest report, council said it had identified 14 unauthorised base stations that were either erected on virgin council land, private properties or mounted on its tower lights.

"The director of Engineering Services reported that it had come to our attention that Telecel Zimbabwe Ltd had been developing base stations across the city without the requisite permission in terms of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act and council by laws," reads part of the council report.

"This it was doing its own or through their agent Valley Technologies. They had been advised of their misdeeds through a number of letters, which have never been responded to. We had also copied our complaint to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Auth-ority of Zimbabwe, the authority responsible for cellular networks," added the report.

Council said Telecel Zimbabwe should regularise the existence of the base stations, failure of which the necessary procedures would be enforced to make them comply.

Telecel's regional manager, Nelson Chipangamate professed ignorance on the matter, saying his company had followed all the required procedures.

"Our legal director may respond, but as far as I am aware no such complaint has been communicated to us," said Chipangamate.

Last year, the mobile giant invested US$70 million as part of an ongoing exercise to improve its network coverage.

In Matabeleland alone, 21 new base stations were developed in the same period.

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