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BizDay Zimbabwe

Potraz cancels Valley’s licence

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THE Postal  and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe has cancelled the operating licence for Internet service provider Valley Technologies for failing to meet the regulator’s requirements. In a statement, Potraz said Valley Technologies had been duly informed of the cancellation in writing with effect from September 10, 2013.

“The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe would like to advise the public and all stakeholders that the Internet access provider Class A licence issued to Valley Technologies was cancelled in terms of Section 43 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act (Chapter 12:05) on September 10, 2013,” Potraz said.

Last month Valley Technologies chief executive Mr Zachary Wazara was issued with a letter from Potraz acting director-general Mr Alfred Marisa saying the company had failed to pay its licence, spectrum and fees amounting to approximately US$2,4 million since 2010.

Valley Technologies was ordered to switch off and decommission all equipment used for the provision of services under its licence by September 10, 2013.

“You are advised to place any telecommunications equipment used to provide services under the licence in a warehouse on or before the effective date for disposal in terms of the permission issued by the authority,” Mr Marisa said in the letter.

Valley Technologies was issued with several reminders and final notices of demand for payment of licence and spectrum fees from 2010 to date.

According to Potraz, the company was also afforded several opportunities to explain its position verbally and despite these notices and meetings, Valley Technologies failed to liquidate its debt and meet current licence and spectrum obligations to the authority

When reached for comment last month, Mr Wazara said he had been informed about the letter through his lawyers.
“As you may be aware Valley Technologies has had new shareholders and directors since December 2012. I am, however, aware of the letter from Potraz, because it was addressed to me presumably because Lalela Trading, the new shareholders, and Valley Tech have not completed the change of ownership processes they applied for to Potraz earlier in the year,” he said.

He added that the directors who took over in December last year would ensure that the matters raised by Potraz would be addressed.
The Internet service provider has been facing challenges and recently had its assets including base stations auctioned to settle funds owed to AfrAsia Kingdom Bank.

AfrAsia Kingdom Bank is believed to have entered into a debt-to-equity swap for 80 percent of Valley Technologies through the bank’s special purpose vehicle, Lalela Trading, in December last year after the mobile network operator failed to settle its obligations with the bank.

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