Zamtel Targets 80 Percent Coverage of Zambia


Zamtel will establish more than 500 base stations to cover about 80 per cent of the country with its mobile network. Zamtel CEO Hans Paulsen said his company would undertake an aggressive expansion strategy that would make the mobile phone unit more relevant to customers and the country at large.

The rebranded telecommunications firm's mobile unit, formerly Cell-Z, will grow by 25 per cent in the next five years. Paulsen said Zamtel would make sure it maintained its dominance on the fixed landline service and then lead Zambia's internet revolution through the Zamtel broadband service.

Paulsen said the fight to capture a significant portion of the market-share would start with the setting up of 565 base stations (masts) across the country for both 2G and 3G systems on mobile phones. The first site is expected to be switched on in June this year. The sites would have 450 of them for the common 2G (Second Generation) and the other 115 for the 3G system.

This would mean 80 per cent of the country would be covered by the Zamtel mobile network. "In the last six months, we have grown by 32 per cent, and that is with the old, tiring and boring brand. But now with the new brand and more services and better infrastructure, it will be possible to grow even bigger," he said.
He said Zamtel had signed an agreement with Chinese Telecommunication giant ZTE whose partners Huawei would be unrolling base stations. He said with the 32 per cent growth in the last six months, Zamtel mobile customer base had risen to just more than 500,000 and expects it to grow more.

The company policy being that it spends 15 per cent of profit on marketing, Zamtel mobile and the two other services-land line and broadband- would become more relevant to Zambians. He said the new circle on the rebranded Zamtel logo signified the infinity Zamtel would go as far as possible to meet the customer’s needs. (Imagine saying that with a straight face).