ZAMBIA'S COPPERNET EYES MANSA MARKET
CopperNET Solutions plans to open up a point of presence (POP) Internet connectivity in Mansa as part of its expansion plans. Chief Executive Officer, Phillip Chitalu, said during the company’s fifth anniversary celebrations last week that CopperNET Solutions was aiming at providing Internet connectivity to all the provincial centres in the country.
“We have been importing Vsats on behalf of clients and so far we have 30 across the country with about 18 in the Mkushi farming block,” he said
The company’s digital network currently stretches from Livingstone to Chililabombwe. However, the company has an extended network, through the use of satellite to provincial centres and areas that are not along the digital network except in Luapula Province. He noted that connectivity using dial-up Internet connectivity through the use of landlines had proved to be costly in spite of being the most common for individual customers. Chitalu said wireless connectivity was in the long running less costly but that the cost of satellite equipment had remained a major constraint for most people. He noted that despite the cost of wireless Internet equipment reducing to about K15 million, the cost was still too high. “A person is required to spend about K15 billion on VSAT compared to about K30 million two years ago but that is still expensive,” he said. Chitalu said the government should extend the reduction in import duty for computers to all communications tools or possibly completely scrap off import duty on such tools in order to make the cost of Internet services cheaper.