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Zambia releases free additional spectrum

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 27 May 2020

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has released additional frequency spectra to telecom operators at no additional cost in order to enhance internet service efficiency.

The regulator said the additional temporary spectra given to given to MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia and Zamtel is meant to cushion the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

ZICTA corporate communications manager Ngabo Nankonde said the free temporary frequency will enable ICT consumers to use high-speed internet facilities.

With measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus in the country, Nankonde said there is need for high-speed and efficient internet in schools that are now offering e-learning to students, as well as to banks that are providing online services.

Government owned Zamtel has already partnered with the Examinations Council of Zambia and the ministry of General Education to launch an interactive national e-learning portal and Smart Revision platform to ensure continued learning following the closure of schools due to the pandemic.

Nankonde said the free spectra will result in reliable and faster data services, but not a reduction in price.

He was quoted by the local Daily mail newspaper saying, “The broadband internet access packages will canter for more online traffic in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The minimum speed for the internet should be 10mbps as a result of the free temporary spectra given to the three mobile phone companies during the COVID-19 period.”

According to the ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Kennedy Malama, to date the country has 1,000 infections and seven confirmed deaths as of 26 May 2020.

The country’s Minister of Finance Dr Bwalya Ng’andu stated recently that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had refused to commit funds to fight the pandemic, but that the Zambian government was mobilising resources and seeking debt relief.

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