Zambia’s Telecoms Regulator Hints At Fifth Telco

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has been hinting towards possibly accommodating a fifth operator within Zambia’s telecoms market in a bid to increase competition.

ZICTA’s Director-General Patrick Mutimunshi said that a fifth operator could compete with Airtel Zambia, MTZ Zambia, Uzi Zambia (when it begins operations) as well as Zamtel.

Mutimunshi said that the regulator’s mandate is to ensure that there is competition in the market and that competition is sustained.

While Mutimunshi did not give any details over the immediate future of Uzi Zambia, he said that the Authority did not receive the results it wanted from Zambia’s fourth operator.

An insider at ZICTA told ITWeb Africa that the government, through ZICTA, had already made a market analysis that supports the introduction of a fifth operator and the market would still be profitable.

The source said that the government is keen to see the telecoms sector grow from its current levels to a point where the resulting competition can push down the high cost of data services and voice communication.

According to the latest official statistics, Zambia’s mobile penetration rate is now standing at 97.2% of the population, with over 16, 889, 138 subscribers representing all three active telcos out of a population of 17 million.

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