Potraz to monitor mobile money transactions

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) intends to monitor traffic and revenues that telecommunications companies generate instead of relying on data that they provide, a tender note published in the Government Gazette said.

Through the State Procurement Board, POTRAZ invited expressions of interest from both local and international companies for the supply of a Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring Assurance System.

The system will also monitor money transactions by mobile operators, fraud detection and track fraudulent routing of telecommunications traffic at both national and international level.

All three mobile operators in Zimbabwe are now involved in the mobile money business. Telecommunication firms dominate the mobile payment market, with Econet Wireless’ Ecocash enjoying the bigger market share.

NetOne’s One Wallet and Telecel Zimbabwe’s Telecash are some of the major providers of mobile payment services.

In addition, the system will provide

real time measurement and billing of local as well as incoming and outgoing international calls. Further, the system should be scalable so as to accommodate other applications including number portability and SIM registration and real time measurement and monitoring of quality and service at the interconnection.

“Potraz is inviting expression of interests from suitably qualified local and international companies with adequate expertise and experience and with traceable references for the supply, installation and commissioning of the system,” said Potraz.

Potraz has in the past solely relied on data that networks provided due to its incapacity to monitor telecommunications traffic.

As a result, this has been a source of challenges, some of which included reliability of data as well as interconnection charges.

Telecommunications operators pay each other interconnection or terminations fees or for calls generated on their networks which are directed to other networks.

Econet Wireless, the largest telecommunications firm in the country, says it has struggled to get payment for termination of calls from its peers and is owed over $26 million by state-owned telecommunication operators, NetOne and TelOne.

And with telecommunications operators having complained about middlemen prejudicing them of millions in revenue through re-routing international calls, the new

system would have fraud detection capabilities that would likely put a stop to the practice.

Middlemen re-route international calls to Zimbabwe by use of sophisticated gadgets that make the calls appear and be recorded as if they are local calls.

They in turn pocket the difference by charging a termination fee. The closing date for submitting bids is June 30. – Business Reporter/New Ziana.