Zambia's fourth operator to launch operations in January 2023
Zambia’s fourth mobile phone network operator Beeline Telecom will launch operations in January 2023, according to the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA).
ZICTA affirmed that the telco has the financial muscle to launch operations and increase competition within the local telecommunications industry.
Beeline Telecom was supposed to launch operations In June, six months after having received its licence, but was forced to postpone due to COVID-19 related complications.
ZICTA’s Manager, Legal and Regulatory Affairs Banji Michelo said, “We granted extension because the company was unable to commerce operations due to challenges with procurement process owing to COVID-19. But now the company will launch operations on January 31, 2023.”
Beeline secured its licence in February last year after Uzi Zambia failed to roll out a service, despite having received several extensions.
The wholly-owned local firm said it would invest US$400-million and create more than 450 direct jobs when it commences operations.
The company has not disclosed what it intends to invest in, however, ZICTA expects the telco to deploy LTE technology in support of 4G and 5G rollout.
Science and Technology Minister Felix Mutati said that the regulator was not struggling with the fourth operator and that progress has been made towards the commencement of operations.
Mutati said ZICTA’s mandate is to consider the telco’s commitment and engage with them over any challenges.