Zambia targets 100% network coverage by 2024
Zambia’s government plans to achieve 100% national network coverage by the end of 2024.
Science and Technology Minister Felix Mutati said the government is working closely with MTN Zambia, Airtel Networks Zambia and state-owned Zamtel in order to achieve this.
The Minister added that the government will leverage over US$41-million generated from the recent auctioning of spectrum by the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA).
In July ZICTA confirmed it had raised US$41.55-million in the spectrum sale with Airtel Networks Zambia emerging as the biggest spender after offering US$29-million on 60 MHz of additional spectrum spread across the 800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands.
In January 2021, Airtel Zambia was also awarded spectrum on the 800 MHz frequency band by ZICTA.
In March the same year, ZICTA also awarded MTN Zambia additional spectrum at a cost of US$13.5-million.
Authorities want to reinvest resources in rural areas in line with the country’s digital transformation agenda.
Key to this is the construction of additional telecommunication towers in underserved regions.
The government looks to erect an additional 106 towers to complement the one thousand that are already established.
Mutati said, “Using (the) universal access fund and the money raised from the sale of spectrum, the government is working towards expanding mobile network connectivity by way of erecting more towers particularly in the rural areas.”
MTN CEO Bart Hofker said, “By the end of this year, the company will complete installation of 45 telecom towers and plans to install another 100 towers next year in order to expand coverage.”