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Zambia: US$300-million needed to boost ailing Zamtel

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 17 Feb 2016

Zambia: US$300-million needed to boost ailing Zamtel

The government says it will help finance Zamtel (Zambia Telecommunications Company) in the construction of 1 000 telecom towers to boost connectivity and expand mobile phone services to rural areas.

The state-owned telecommunications company confirmed its plan to begin the rollout of the towers this year.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport James Kapyanga said the government wants to make Zamtel more competitive.

Zamtel is Zambia smallest operator with about 2 million customers. Officials have said US$300-million is needed to recapitalise the company and fund its projects in order for it to compete with MTN Zambia and Airtel Zambia.

"We will help Zamtel with the financing of the tower project because we want the company not only to modernise its network but also to expand its services to rural areas," Kapyanga said.

The company's Chief Marketing Officer Evans Muhanga did not respond to a request for comment.

Two months ago, the Zambian government announced a decision to convert all debt owed to it by Zamtel in order to "clean the balance sheet of the company" and make it profitable and attractive for investment.

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