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Zambia lays down 80% fibre infrastructure

Zambia lays down 80% of fibre infrastructure

Various operators continue to expand networks, with MTN Zambia investing US$55m.

Zambia's Minister of Communications and Transport Brian Mushimba says the country has laid approximately 80% of fibre optic infrastructure to boost internet connectivity.

Government owned Zambia Telecommunications Company, the Zambia electricity Supply Corporation, CEC Liquid Telecom Zambia, MTN Zambia and Airtel Zambia are among several operators that continue to invest in fibre network upgrades and infrastructure.

MTN Zambia claims to have invested over US$55 million to expand its local fibre network running from Lusaka to Nakonde, a border town with Tanzania, and Kalumbila in North-Western province as well in the Ndola metro on the Copperbelt.

CEC Liquid Telecom says it has also extended it backbone fibre by 500 kilometres and that its metro fibre now covers 2,700 kilometres across the country.

Mushimba said the government regards easy access to all communication as a vehicle for achieving its socio-economic target.

The establishment of an ICT centre of Excellency and other national projects will help to bridge the communication gap between rural and town areas.

This will help to achieve thereby achieving the goal of Smart Zambia, which seeks to have the majority of Zambians connected to mobile and data services, said Mushimba.

"Government has since put up an optimal policy and regulatory framework that will ensure that the general members of the public have affordable access to communication facilities," he said.

He said the laying of optic fibre cables, coupled with the construction of communication towers across the country, will increase communication access by 94%.

According to recent statistics from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) Zambia only has 5, 900 mobile internet users out of 12 million mobile phone subscribers and 31, 800 fixed internet users representing 35.8% and 0.19% respectively.

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