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Zamtel banks on network upgrade for increased market share

Zamtel banks on network upgrade for increased market share

Telco to plough US$370 000 to alleviate network congestion and strengthen internet connectivity.

The Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) intends to invest US$370,000 towards a network upgrade.

The telco says the decision to upgrade is aimed at capturing more customers in order to expand its market share and contribute towards national economic development.

Zamtel Chief Marketing Officer Lho-Zindaba Sakala said the upgrade will be completed "in the next few weeks" and will address network congestion and internet connectivity issues that customers have been experiencing.

It is the first time that Zamtel is announcing network upgrade since the management of the company was transferred to Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) last year.

The government wants IDC to quickly source investment required to recapitalise the company.

Zamtel is Zambia's smallest network with just 1.5 million customers and the company is aiming to reach the 2-million customer market by year-end.

"We have also embarked on a programme of reactivating dormant and new customers as we move to expand our market share," Sakala said.

According to the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), Zamtel has 10.4% market share against the 48.3% for MTN Zambia, with the rest held by Airtel Zambia.

Meanwhile, the government has started rolling out phase 2 of the smart Zambia project which will result in public institutions across the country being connected to the internet.

Phase 1 of the project was implemented by ZICTA and was funded by the Chinese government through a concessional loan.

"The project is in line with the presidential directive to have all schools, hospitals and agricultural centres in Zambia connected to the internet," said Martine Mtonga, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President.

The Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya said the use of ICT is key to Zambia's drive towards attaining universal health coverage.

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