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COVID-19 fuels mobile and internet subscription in Zambia

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 16 Mar 2021

Zambia has recorded a sharp increase in the number of active mobile phone subscribers and of active internet subscriptions.

According to the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), this is because of increased access to- and utilisation of ICT services as a result of COVID-19.

ZICTA corporate communications manager Ngabo Nankonde said the number of active mobile phone subscriptions increased to 19.1 million in 2020, up from 17.2 million reported in 2019, reflecting an improvement of 10.9% and a penetration rate of 106.81%.

The total number of active internet subscriptions increased from 9.2 million subscriptions reported at the end of 2019 to 10.3 million recorded at the end of 2020, representing a growth rate of 11.8%, Nankonde added.

She said the internet penetration rate grew from 52.9% in 2019 to 57.6% in 2020, fuelled by increased investments by MNOs and improved coverage of 3G and 4G networks.

“The increase in the internet subscription was complemented with an increased combined throughput volume of data among the mobile network operators from 114, 000 terabytes reported in 2019 to 199, 000 terabytes recorded in 2020 representing a growth rate of 38.2%,” said Nankonde.

She said ZICTA is pleased that despite the disruptive effects of COVID-19 on economic activity, the total domestic incoming traffic on mobile telephone networks increased from 2.1 billion minutes reported in 2019 to 2.4 billion minutes recorded in 2020, representing an increase of 12.2%.

The total domestic outgoing traffic on mobile telephones increased from 16 billion minutes reported in 2019 to 21.4 billion minutes recorded in 2020, representing an increase of 33.9%.

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