Zamtel's plan to avoid regulator conflict
27 September 2019
Zambian mobile phone operator Zamtel has initiated a network modernisation project across Lusaka in a bid to improve the quality of service and avoid punishment by the Zambia Information and Communication Authority (ZICTA).
ZICTA has on two separate occasions imposed substantial fines on Zamtel and competitors MTN Zambia and Airtel Zambia for poor quality of service.
Zamtel acting chief technical officer Jason Mwanza said the project involves replacing low capacity 2G/3G and 4G sites with high capacity sites and will take one month to complete.
"We are confident that the heavy investment Zamtel is making in the network will ensure that our customers receive an always available service. Once the upgrade project is complete, our customers will greatly benefit as they will have access to much faster data speed and a reliable quality network," said Mwanza.
Zamtel did not respond to ITWeb Africa's query as to how much the project is expected to cost or how many sites will be replaced.
However, according to a source from within the company, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the upgrades are part of the US$300-million-plus funding from the government.
"The investment in infrastructure involves the upgrading of 2G and 3G sites to between 2 and 3 Mbps speed and increasing the number of Zamtel's transmission sites to 1, 793 from 897 over the next three years in order to improve voice and data services," he said, adding that the company will also install 130 4G fixed wireless sites and 50 4G mobile sites with speeds in excess of 30Mbps.
Zamtel has approximately 3.3 million subscribers while MTN Zambia has over 6 million and Airtel Zambia falls just behind MTN with just above 5 million customers.