An assessment of regulatory factors affecting industry performance in the telecommunications sector: A case study of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ)
Makuvise, Taurai Lazarus
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Studying industry performance and the regulatory frameworks in the telecommunication sector helps the regulatory body to be more efficient and effective in improving industry performance. This study focused on assessment of regulatory factors affecting industry performance in the telecommunication sector. There have been conflicts among players in the telecommunication industry where the regulator was blamed for failing and even delaying in intervening to settle crucial matters. The research was qualitative in nature and employed research methods to solicit views on telecommunication regulations from the selected key stakeholders. The respondents were from POTRAZ, mobile operators (Telecel, NetOne and Econet), the fixed telephone operator (TelOne)and data service providers (Africom and Powertel). Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Officials and customers were also interviewed. Face-to-face in-depth interviews were held. A total of ninety seven from an expected one hundred and seventy interviews were successfully carried out. Through content analysis the research established that there were sour relationships between POTRAZ and telecommunication operators due to violations and abuses that were in existence. The evidence showed that there was non-compliance by the operators to regulations. The study also revealed that telecommunication operators were not happy with regulations that did not promote their operations. On the basis of the above findings it was concluded that the telecommunication regulations do not create a level playing field. This undermines the provision of greater confidence in the regulatory decisions that should be made objectively on impartial and consistent basis, without conflict of interest, bias or improper governance. Thus, it is recommended that the telecommunication industry should practice good corporate governance. There is an opportunity that access to information and provision of quality service can be enhanced through infrastructure sharing. It is also recommended that the regulatory authority should consider the possibility of applying punitive measures where there is lack of compliance by operators. An area of further study is recommended and should focus on the impact of the change in the regulation of the telecommunications industry from rate-of-return regulation to more flexible incentive-based regulations.
Additional Citation InformationMakuvise, T. L. (2014). An assessment of regulatory factors affecting industry performance in the telecommunications sector: A case study of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) (Unpublished Master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.