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MTN Zambia to roll out 500 more LTE sites

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 16 Oct 2015

MTN Zambia to roll out 500 more LTE sites

In an effort to increase data consumption in Zambia, the Southern African country's largest mobile phone operator MTN plans to roll out 500 Long-Term Evolution (LTE) sites by the end of the year.

MTN Zambia Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Thomas Motlepa made the announcement and detailed the company's intention to provide "fast data services" to customers.

According to Motlepa MTN currently has 200 LTE sites around the country, but if all goes according to plan, the operator will have a total of 700 sites by year end.

Motlepa, who recently joined MTN Zambia from Irancell, said MTN Zambia has 87% voice coverage in the country and wants to now grow data usage.

"Zambia doesn't have too many consumers of data compared to other countries in the region but this can change. This is why we are putting up sites around the country," he said.

According to Motlepa, many locals own smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets, which is fuelling a demand for data services.

The company says it will also focus on internet penetration levels

The country's telecom sector regulator, The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), says there are 10.5 million mobile phone subscribers in the country, but less than 3 million have access to the internet.

MTN says it will introduce affordable data services to boost numbers and is currently running a promotion dubbed 'spaka' to reduce internet costs and encourage more widespread access via internet-enabled mobile devices.

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