The Zambia Telecommunications Company limited (ZAMTEL) has said it is owed about K204 billion in telephone bills by business houses and the public. And Zamtel said satellite mobile phones were making it impossible for the company to get revenue for mobile phone Internet. In an interview, Zamtel public relations officer Charles Kachikoti expressed sadness that some people and business institutions were reluctant to pay their bills.

"By January this year we were owed about K204 billion, but we hope telephone cards will now help us because there won't be any bills to pay at the end of the month," he said. He said the company raised about K45 billion monthly. Kachikoti said the coming of mobile phones was not a threat to the land phones services as they (land phones) were still a major tool for business houses and enjoyed stability.

And Kachikoti said the interruptions of telephone services in Kaoma were expected to come to an end by the end of the week. He said landlines would now be digital as the company was moving away from the old analogue system. Last week Kaoma residents complained of poor Zamtel services. Meanwhile Kachikoti said there were cases of illegal Internet connections.

He also said the company was failing to get Internet revenue from satellite mobile phones using the Internet service. "These are powerful phones, people use them without paying anything to us. All communications pass through our system," he said.

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