A resident of Mandevu using  a mobile phone
A resident of Mandevu using a mobile phone

ZAMBIA has recorded significant increase in the number of mobile phone subscribers from 2.6 million in 2007 to 10.9 million in 2015 due to increased investment in the sub-sector by mobile service providers.

Similarly, the increase in subscriber base corresponds to an improvement in service penetration relative to the population from 22.5 percent in 2007 to 70.3 percent in 2015, in a country with over 14 million people.

Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) director for market competition and licences Mulenga Chisanga said this in Lusaka recently when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on communications, transport, works and supply.

The committee was discussing the role of information communication technologies (ICTs) in national development.
“The effectiveness of the ICT policy in increasing access to ICTs in Zambia has been mixed. There has been significant market improvement in access to mobile phone service,” Mr Chisanga said.

He said the global system for mobile communications (GSM) coverage, which is currently at over 80 percent of the country’s surface area, is expected to reach 100 percent in the next few years.

Mr Chisanga attributed the increase to the rise in investments into the network by all the mobile network operators and a regulatory programme to extend GSM infrastructure to the underserved and unserved.

He also said the number of internet users increased from 2.3 million in 2012 to five million in 2015 with majority users being through mobile cellular networks, who account for 99 percent.

This increase represents a 32.2 percent rise in 2015 compared to 17.3 percent in 2012.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. ok. yet the same ZICTA is trying to stifle the telecoms by threatening penalties in various forms for the sector. on the other hand, they are praising the operators for job well done with penetrating the zambian market.

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    • They just counted the number of sim cards sold and activated. In my house, there are eight active sim cards. Wife and I have MTN, Airtel, ZAmtel each and 1 MTN and 1 Aitel internet dongles.

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  2. I hope these are actual users registered and not the number of active SIM cards, as we know the trend now is to have these dual SIM phones. I am very sceptical about these figures considering the population of Zambia is only 14m. Does this mean only 4 million people now don’t have phones?

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    • Sure you right , these are frond statistics , unless he was talking about registered cards.. Guys these days carry 3 phones and a tablet all having a sim car, further all former MTN towers you see in Zambia have 2 Cards for for monitoring and control and other machines too have cards in them including some ATMs

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  3. I equally don’t think the figures are true. I think they mean subscription and not subscribers (users).

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  4. Lets say 3 million considering that most Zambians have at least 3 sim cards…. My relatives carry 3 to 4 phones at a time…

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  5. 70% is too high considering the percentage of zambians living under the poverty line… They must be just looking at registered sims

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  6. These statistics don’t make sense!!!! No wonder our planning is non existent, if at all!!!

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  7. How many of total is Airtel,MTN,Zamtel..? Tat way would add more meaning to data.

    Now with all the information on Most Zambians’ finger tips, how on earth should sum1 still want to vote for failed PF Government?

    I dont understand how sum pipo think.! Is this country cursed of poor leadership.?

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  8. And these people are being ripped off by offering them shambolic service at high tariffs…its a disgrace as there is no one to turn to…its no wonder the owners of these companies are billionaires.

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  9. Bare-bone facts are just that – users! so long as these registered subscribers are deemed active, just like FB has dead-users you have to count them in for your maximum usage calculations…that is just how such systems work; BTW the old-school embezzlement via ghost-workers is the same terrain, permutations are not combinations and as such 10+ million-users is right in sim-card terms, calls per sim-card per month will be nearer the true number of users 🙂

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  10. it does make sense at all how can thre b
    e tht kind of insane statistics moving directly proportion with increase in poverty….this is good 4 zambia

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