Zambia to issue fourth mobile licence

Telecoms

The Zambian government has said the country’s fourth mobile licence will be issued soon after implementing the digital migration project.

The minister of communications and transport Yamfwa Mukanga said the Zambian government has made progress in clearing the way for the fourth mobile phone operator but that the licence of the operator will only be issued after the digital migration project.

He said the Zambian government has been forced to bring in the fourth operator because of the high cost of making calls and believes that once the fourth operator comes on board, challenges of high communication costs will be addressed.

Mukanga said the Zambian government is hoping that the fourth mobile operator will force down the high cost of communication in the country as it will bring competition.

South Africa’s MTN subsidiary MTN Zambia, Zamtel and Airtel are the current three mobile operators operating in Zambia.

“The government is concerned with the high cost of communication. So the fourth mobile operator will come with many advantages including reduced cost of making phone calls and other services,” Mukanga said.

The Zambian government, according to Mukanga has been in talks with the country’s three operators to reduce the cost of communication but to no avail.

Last year, the Zambian government had put off the plans to have a fourth mobile operator despite having received bids from several telecom operators who had expressed interest in setting up the business in the country.

Among the companies interested investing in Zambia include South Africa headquartered Vodacom, according to Zambian government officials.