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Vodafone Zambia's franchise holder to cease operations

Vodafone Zambia's franchise holder to cease operations ICT regulator cancels network and service licences effective 20 October 2019.

Zambia's Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has cancelled the network and service licences for cash-strapped Mobile Broadband Limited trading as Vodafone Zambia.

In a statement, ZICTA board chairperson Emmanuel Musonda said the action had been taken on the grounds that Vodafone was not technically or financially capable of meeting the obligations, terms and conditions related to the licence.

Musondo added that the regulator has withdrawn frequency bands that were assigned to Mobile Broadband Limited and confirmed that as of 20 October 2019, Vodafone's local franchise holder would cease to operate as an electronic communications service and network provider.

"The authority is aware that the cancellation of the licences held by Mobile Broadband Limited comes with great inconvenience to a lot of consumers that have subscribed to the network," Musonda said.

Vodafone Zambia struggled to maintain operations a year after it entered the local market in 2016 citing financial distress which triggered a petition by employees to the High Court in Lusaka for a business rescue.

This led to the appointment of a Business Rescue Administrator Luwita Sayila as the company sought to acquire new shareholders.

Last week Sayila formally announced the sale of the company following failure by its shareholders to recapitalise the firm.

The company has so far not commented on ZICTA's decision to cancel its licence.

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