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Competition, lower tariffs boost Zambia's mobile market

Competition, lower tariffs boost Zambia's mobile market.

The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) said the country's mobile phone market has grown to 10.8 million, from 10.5 million over the past few months.

The authority said increased competition in the provision of mobile phone services, including voice and short messaging service (SMS), has resulted in the reduction of tariffs and the growth of the subscriber base.

ZICTA director support services Mofya Chisala said Zambia's mobile phone subscriber base is growing at a faster than expected rate.

"The liberalisation of the international gateway for the three mobile phone operators, who now have their own licences for the international gateway, has also fostered competition in Zambia's ICT sector," Chisala said.

The Zambian government liberalised the international gateway in 2010 and awarded private mobile phone operators licences to operate international gateways in order to force down the high cost of communication in the country.

Authorities have continues to push mobile phone operators to further reduce tariffs to make it more affordable for residents, particularly in rural areas, to communicate.

Today, subscribers in Zambia can call or send SMSs with a recharge of just ZMK1 (approximately US13 cents).

A few months ago, ZICTA said the country's total mobile phone subscriber base stood at 10.5 million with MTN Zambia having 51.4% of the country mobile phone market.

Airtel is the country's second largest mobile phone operator followed by the government-run Zambia Telecommunication Company (Zamtel) that has a 15% market share.


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