Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cabinet Approves Introduction of a Fourth Mobile Operator


Minister of Transport and Communications Hon. Brian Mushimba makes the first call to launch the second phase of the Universal Access Programme, paving the way for every citizen in the country to have access to a mobile phone signal.

CABINET has approved a new licensing framework for the telecommunication industry, with a chance for a fourth mobile operator into the sector.

Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba disclosed in an interview in Lusaka that Cabinet had approved a new licensing framework for the telecommunication industry aimed at re-alinging and promoting competition in the sector.

Mr Mushimba said his ministry had formulated a new licensing framework with ZICTA for the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and telecommunication industry in Zambia.

He said the licensing framework would realign the sector and allow more investments and job growth.

“This will also allow more competition in the sector; improve quality of service and lower costs of services in the sector.

“The new regime now allows any operator to apply for a license and allow operator of data such as Vodafone to take a new license that allows them to do voice over IP (VoIP),” he said.

The minister said essentially all ISPs now can be operators and allowed to make voice calls in a regulated and optimised market.

“As the Government, this is very exciting for us. We have cleaned up the licensing framework to unleash the potential of the industry mindful of the latest technological advancements in the sector,” Mr Mushimba said.

“We see a very competitive market now moving forward with lots of investment in the network expansion and backbones because a company can now take one license and based on their infrastructure, offer multiple products,” he said.

Mr Mushimba said the development was very good for the industry as it would bring in investments and jobs as well as taxes for the Government.

He explained that with this in place, there was a chance of a fourth mobile operator in the country.

“With this in place we shall see new jobs created and the quality of services will improve and it will introduce competition and the low costs that comes with that” Mr Mushimba said.


    • So, who is that fourth provider? LT needs to employ intelligent chaps as reporters. Surely, I have scanned and scanned for the name for the so caled 4th provider.

  1. so some people are going to have 4 mobile numbers. It is very inconveniencing to save 4 mobile numbers of one person.

    • Where does it say Vodafone namwe ba Artificial Dullness? Vodafone here has just been given as an example of data provider who can apply for VOIP.

  2. And he gleefully announced that govt would get more taxes. So the consumer pays more and vidafone sends profits out of the country. Promote zamtel not a new carrier. Wake up look after our own zamtel

    • Zamtel received over $300mn and extensive Eurobond money when Lap Green owned a stake. However its now in a debt to a tune of that amount which has gone up. Zamtel as a business has been paying 70% of revenue on wages, so its unlikely that they need more government support. In any case government also owe them money. Zamtel needs management that has experience in TELCO, because as a business it has the potential of 5+ income streams since it owns infrastructure. The 4th license was blocked from 2008 for 5+ year to allow Zamtel to compete, it didn’t do so. So let the private sector who know what they are doing invest and give us quality of service.
      As for the profits leaving, well that’s your MMD policy coming into effect that brought 100% repatriation of profits/dividends. Speak to…

  3. Comment:
    This is welcome news. Some neighbouring countries have up to seven mobile phone operators, offering people a wide range of affordable services. Government should, however, examine and help reduce the rates charged by Zambian providers. At the moment the rates charged are exorbitant and generally unaffordable by the broad mass of users.

  4. Cartels and oligarchies need to be dismantled. The new policy adjustment will lead to more benefits for consumers and more revenue for government. At the same time, the voices of members of the public that justified slow growth in the sector need to be harnessed. It is like football. Substitution of players is int itself a good thing. However, the right thing is to sustain the strike force and to move it to a higher level.

  5. Comment:
    In one neighbouring country one can surf the net for FIVE KWACHA equivalent on platform called HIGHSPEED UNLIMITED bundles over 24 hours. The services are so competitive all networks are obliged to offer this service. Why is the Zambian government failing to encourage these companies to offer similar services?

    • Government haven’t made the market competitive enough, you can’t charge reduced fees with only 3 providers who engage in collusion. Zambia has the highest charges in Southern Africa, as governments investment in infrastructure is less than 2%. So if these companies have had to spend most of the money, that cost is passed on to the consumer.

  6. ISPs to carry voice and data. So telecommunications NOT limited to four SERVICE PROVIDERS.

    Any ZICTA registered ISP can provide Voice and Internet services!!!!!!!!!!! There Hundreds ISPs in Zambia.


  7. Yes the heading is a bit misleading. What this does is open up the market to all those that will pass the criteria for getting a license. ISPs can take a license that can allow them to offer voice and data. The catch will be zicta only licensing credible and solid companies with a track record and money to invest in network upgrades to benefit consumers.

  8. Yeah, so that Kampyongo in cohort with zicta can catch more online media users like Tayali and slap them with treason and libel charges…

  9. with no food on the table, a citizen should be excited about having access to mobile phone signal….? Just wondering

  10. While this talk about a fourth mobile network provider is good, I feel the government should also look into other avenues of the ICT realm like facilitation of eCommerce payments. The lack of policies and laws regarding online payments is the major reason why epayment channels like paypal do not enable receipt of funds in Zambia. Our friends in SA had these laws put in place in 2005, and in 2017 we are championing the acceptance of a 4th mobile network provider. We should move with times and look at other pertinent issues as well.

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