Wednesday, September 18, 2013

POTRAZ Cancels Valley Technologies License

Story By Jeffrey Mumba

THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) has cancelled Internet Access Provider (IAP) Valley Technologies (Pvt) Ltd's license, after the company reportedly failed to pay required licensing and spectrum fees.

The company had previously been granted a class A license on the 29th of October 2008 but owed a host of debts to the authority and other companies mounting to US$2,4 million over the years.
"...Valley Technologies has been duly informed in writing of this cancellation. POTRAZ would like the general public and stakeholders to take note of this cancellation and be guided accordingly," the authority said.
Under POTRAZ regulations, a Private Telecommunications Network License authorises the licensee to construct, operate and maintain a private network infrastructure to carry data, voice and video traffic within an organisation. Internet connectivity is allowed through a locally licensed IAP. Other Class A IAPs operating in Zimbabwe include TelOne, Liquid, Powertel, Telecontract, Africom, Aquiva, Broadcom, Spiritage, Bluesat, Aptics, Dandemutande, ComIT.
In 2012, Valley was taken over by AfrAsia Kingdom Bank through a debt - equity swop for 80% of the company through the bank's special purpose vehicle, Lalela Trading, after the telecoms network failed to settle its obligations to the bank.

Analysts blame the demise of the telecoms company on spending too much money before the network had acquired a sufficient number of subscribers adding that this development was painting a bad image of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services. Reports this year surfaced saying that the company had gone for more than 13 months without paying workers salaries while some of the company property had been attached by creditors.
At one point, the company announced that it had deployed a 3.9G network. The company also rolled out Wi-Fi devices in the market in the range of US$250. Consumers expressed concern over the fate of the devices they had bought from the company and whether existing IAPs were willing to adopt them and keep consumers online using those devices.

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