Zambia’s Beeline Telecoms runs into early trouble
Zambia’s fourth mobile phone operator Beeline Telecoms Limited has failed to launch operations within the agreed period and has requested an extension from authorities.
The Zambia Information Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) confirmed it has approved the request and the company will now launch operations on 30 June 2022.
In February this year Beeline Telecoms secured its licence to operate after failure by Uzi Zambia to kick-start a service despite several extensions.
Wholly-owned local firm Beeline Telecoms said it would invest US$400-million and create 450 direct jobs. It was obliged to launch operations within six months of having received the licence.
ZICTA’s public relations officer Hansford Chaaba told the local Zambia Daily Mail newspaper that Beeline had difficulty “with theprocurement and installations of equipment” resulting in the delay in launching operations.
Beeline has not commented on the matter.
In July this year, ZICTA director technology and engineering Mwanya Mutale said Beeline has delayed to launch operations due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regulator has remained tight-lipped on who owns Beeline Telecoms and who its directors are.
When operational, Beeline will compete with South Africa’s MTN Zambia, India’s Airtel Zambia and the state-run Zamtel.