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Zambia: MNOs fighting for market share

Zambia: MNOs fighting for market share.

Competition in Zambia's data market is heating up with operators Airtel, Zamtel and MTN focusing on 4G rollout to boost internet penetration and efficiency.

The three operators are also embroiled in a price war that has significantly reduced the high cost of data services.

According to Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices has increased and fuels the demand for data services.

ZICTA director support service Mofya Chisala said there is appetite for internet connectivity among Zambians.

Chisala said the country currently has 6.1 million internet users, representing a penetration rate of 39%.

He confirmed that MTN currently has 45.5% share of the data market followed by Airtel with 40.1% and Zamtel with 14.4 %.

Zambia's mobile phone penetration rate has now reached 74.3% of the population, according to ZICTA, with 11.6 million subscribers (representing all three operators) out of 15 million Zambians.

A ZICTA survey that was carried out last year also found that people aged ten years and older, are active users of mobile phones and that the proportion of active users of mobile phones is relatively higher in urban areas compared to rural areas.

MTN Zambia says it has erected 163 of 231 Long-Term Evolution (4G) sites scheduled for rollout across the Southern African country in 2016.

The company also confirmed its aim to increase its 769 3G sites to 881 by year-end.

MTN Zambia Communications and Corporate Social Investment manager Mwamba Siame said the company is also currently upgrading customers with non-LTE enabled devices to LTE SIM cards.


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