A spokesperson for the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) says the country cannot support any new mobile network operators (MNOs).
The regulator’s director of technical services, Baxton Sirewu, is quoted by The Herald as saying that a lack of available spectrum limits how many cellcos the market can support.
Some critics have pointed out, however, that the government currently controls the bulk of wireless spectrum and could be looking to ensure that it does not face any further competition.
The state owns 100% of number two cellco NetOne and 60% of third-placed operator Telecel.
It also controls fixed line provider TelOne, which has a mobile concession but has failed to use it. Meanwhile, state-packed ISPs PowerTel and Africom have access to wireless spectrum for their CDMA fixed-wireless operations. The sole privately-owned operator with cellular frequencies is Econet Wireless.