ZICTA Director of Consumer Protection Mofya Chisala confirmed in an interview that that the authority will close the process of receiving bids for a fourth mobile operator at the end of this week.
Mr Chisala who could not disclose how many bids have been receiving so far could only state that the response from potential service providers has been good.
He said the bids will then be reviewed by a special committee after which a successful bid will be picked.
Mr Chisala said ZICTA will be careful in the selection process to ensure that only a qualify service provider is given a licence to operate a fourth mobile service in Zambia.
“We are going to be very careful in handling these bids. We don’t want any Jim and Jack to come into our market, with the experience we have gained so far, we are approaching this process with caution so that only a credible company is given a chance,” Mr Chisala said.
He added, “as you are aware, we set the bid price at K 1millon and one of the reasons was to ensure that only serious bidders come through because we don’t want jokers.”
Mr Chisala assured that by the start of 2018, the country will have a new fourth mobile service provider.
In August, ZICTA invited bids from potential investors to operate a forth mobile licence in Zambia after it changed the licensing regime.
Speculations among market players is high that Vodafone which already runs a data service in the country will be given the fourth mobile licence which will allow it to also offer voice services.