Zambia’s Tech Minister calls for ICT ‘reboot’
Zambia’s Science and Technology Minister Felix Mutati has ordered the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) to investigate poor network connectivity, saying the performance of ICT in the country ‘requires a reboot’.
Mutati said access to quality network connectivity is critical to the development of telecommunications.
The Minister said, “I’m concerned that the quality of service provided by mobile network operators is poor thereby causing apprehension among subscribers. I therefore challenge you (ZICTA) to ensure that the sector starts performing to regional standards. This means the performance of the ICT sector requires to be rebooted. The desire of government is to see to it that technology contributes to the growth of the economy.”
ZICTA board chairperson Mundia Muya said inadequate funding from the government is to blame for the regulator’s inability to track performance.
Muya said it would be preferable if the government allowed the regulator to retain and use the fees it raises rather than it having to rely on a separate government-regulated fund.
Muya said, “This will result in enhanced performance for the authority as well as service delivery. ZICTA budget falls far short of the funding requirements for the authority. Government may not clearly be informed about this.”
In September 2020, ZICTA fined the three operators a total of ZMK5.4-million for failure to adhere to the quality of service (QoS) guidelines issued by the authority.
Issues like dropped calls, network congestion, network outage, poor customer service, lack of confidentiality and a widespread lack of network availability continue to impact telecommunications.