Airtel Zambia latest telco to secure spectrum
Airtel Africa has announced that that its subsidiary, Airtel Networks Zambia has purchased 60 MHz of additional spectrum spread across the 800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology (ZICTA) for US$29-million.
A statement released to the media reads: “The additional spectrum will support our network expansion in the market for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability including 5G rollout, providing significant capacity to accommodate our continued strong data growth in the country. Zambia is one of our largest markets by revenue. This investment reflects our continued confidence in the opportunity inherent in the Zambian market, supporting the local communities through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.”
Airtel Zambia is the country’s second largest telecommunications service provider after South Africa’s MTN Zambia followed by state-owned Zamtel.
Airtel Africa has presence in 14 African countries including Malawi, Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda where the company is working to expand existing 4G networks and establish 5G networks.
In January 2021, Airtel Zambia was awarded spectrum on the 800MHz frequency band for ZMK12.5-million by ZICTA, paving the way for the company to roll out 5G network.
ZICTA’s Corporate Communications Manager Ngabo Nankonde said that it “expects the spectrum to improve Quality-of-Service through an enhanced voice user experience with faster call set up, clear voice quality and fewer dropped calls.”
Nankonde added that the release of the spectrum would help facilitate the exponential growth in mobile voice and data traffic, fuelled by an increase internet usage stating further that mobile broadband is also expected to increase in both rural and urban areas as a result of spectrum supporting superior indoor coverage and longer range.