Netone, the country’s second largest network provider, has approached the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services (ICTPCS) requesting for a Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) waiver on procurement of innovation products in order to compete with other network providers in the industry.
According to a source within Netone, it is taking the company about 30 to 45 days for its tender documents to be approved by PRAZ, a situation he said left its innovation products and ideas open to hijacking by competitors in the industry before they start to procure them.
The source revealed that procurement processes for other private network providers take only a week compared to the 30 to 45 days taken for Netone.
“For Netone to compete with competitors, it has to get a waiver, as its competitors have fast decision making processes. Bureaucratic procurement procedures being followed by Netone are making it trail behind other service providers,” said the source.
Giving an example of how procurement procedures are derailing innovation at Netone, the source said, “Following the official launch of the National Mobile Broadband phase three by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in September 2021, Netone advertised a tender seeking 5G equipment, however, due to delays in approval of their tender documents, a competitor managed to procure equipment of 800 5G base stations within a week.”
In line with Vision 2030, Netone intends to provide products such as gaming, betting, health care, agriculture, mining and education insurances by 2022. The above can only be achieved through the direct procuring method which will also make the company grow its market shares and declare dividend to shareholders.