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Zamtel eyes power utility's fibre-optic network

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 04 Jul 2012

Zamtel eyes power utility's fibre-optic network

Telecommunications company Zamtel plans to take ownership of a 1,700km fibre-optic network from the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco).

The fibre network that belongs to Zesco was sold for $257 million to Libya’s Lap Green Networks back in 2010 by the previous Zambian government.

Lap Green Networks also owned a 75% stake in Zamtel.

But in January this year, Zambia’s government controversially reversed the Libyan operator’s majority share in Zamtel, citing alleged irregularities in the deal.

Following the debacle, Zesco has also complained that it was allegedly pressured into selling its fibre optic network to Lap Green, and that it was not paid anything for the deal.

The Zambian government subsequently directed that the optic fibre should be returned to the power utility company and that Zamtel should pursue its own optic fibre project.

However, Zamtel now plans to get back the fibre optic from the power utility company to speed up its mobile and network expansions.

Mupanga Mwanakatwe, managing director, Zamtel, has said that discussions between the two parastatals are currently taking place.

“There are discussions going on between Zesco and Zamtel with the involvement of the ministry of communications and transport,” Mwanakatwe told the Post Newspaper.

Mwanakatwe also said getting back of the fibre optic network was a matter of discussion between the parties involved and the government.

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