Zamtel investing US$300 million dollars in network upgrade

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Zamtel Acting Chief Technical Officer Freelance Bwalya explains to Journalists details of the ongoing upgrade and modernisation of the Zamtel network during a media tour on Tuesday, November 2017
Zamtel Acting Chief Technical Officer Freelance Bwalya explains to Journalists details of the ongoing upgrade and modernisation of the Zamtel network during a media tour on Tuesday, November 2017

State-owned telecoms company Zamtel has disclosed that it will invest US$300 million over the next three years to improve its network coverage.

The investment in infrastructure involves increasing the number of Zamtel’s transmission sites to 1,793 over the next three years from the existing 897 to improve voice and data service.

The new sites which are part of the Zambian government phase II tower project will make Zamtel become the telecoms firm with the widest coverage.

The new sites which have already started going up will have 2G, 3G and 4.5G technologies and inbuilt power solutions.

Zamtel Acting Chief Technical Officer Freelance Bwalya said the investment will result in Zamtel’s improved national mobile coverage footprint for all technologies such as 2G, 3G and 4G.

Mr Bwalya was speaking during a Zamtel media tour of its modernization and upgrade project at selected facilities in Lusaka.

He said currently, the Woodlands Technical Centre is undergoing expansion and rehabilitation which involves upgrade of power, cooling and security to its Tier III Cloud Data Centre at a cost of K7 million and that 85 percent of the works are completed.

Mr Bwalya also disclosed that the Lamya House Rehabilitation and Modernization project is costing K30 million.

He said Zamtel has engaged Chinese firm Huawei to demolish and reconstruct open floor equipment room architecture and upgrade of power, cooling and security to Tier III Cloud Data Centre and that works are on-going with 20% complete.

Mr Bwalya told Journalists that Zamtel is also implementing a Converged Multimedia Subsystem Core Project at a cost of US$15m which will result in converged mobile and fixed core network.

He said the firm will also install 130 x 4G Fixed Wireless Sites and 50 x 4G Mobile sites.

Mr Bwalya said Zamtel is further investing heavily in efficient power solutions at its Primary sites at Lamya House and Woodlands Technical Centre.

Zamtel Acting Chief Technical Officer Freelance Bwalya makes a media tour of Lamya House on Tuesday, November 2017
Zamtel Acting Chief Technical Officer Freelance Bwalya makes a media tour of Lamya House on Tuesday, November 2017
Zamtel Acting Chief Technical Officer Freelance Bwalya stresses a point during a media briefing on Tuesday, November 2017 at Zamtel House
Zamtel Acting Chief Technical Officer Freelance Bwalya stresses a point during a media briefing on Tuesday, November 2017 at Zamtel House
Zamtel Senior Technical Manager Clifton Masua shows some of the newly installed power solutions at the Zamtel Woodlands Technical Centre
Zamtel Senior Technical Manager Clifton Masua shows some of the newly installed power solutions at the Zamtel Woodlands Technical Centre
Zamtel Senior Technical Manager Technical Clifton Masua briefing Journalists on the modernisation of the Woodlands Technical Centre during a media tour on Tuesday, November 14th 2017.
Zamtel Senior Technical Manager Technical Clifton Masua briefing Journalists on the modernisation of the Woodlands Technical Centre during a media tour on Tuesday, November 14th 2017.

18 COMMENTS

    • I can efficiently run Zamtel and train all those call centers to handle customers’s connectivity/billing issues using well advanced support tools, call monitoring and performance software, etc. I manage a very successful IT/ISP company with three branches. But would the corrupt and tribal Government let me? Big NO!!! Right there is Zambian’s downfall. And people expect us to come home and watch from a distance while unqualified and inexperienced people run such vital companies like Zamtel and Zesco..

      Who still uses 2G, 3G anyway? Serious companies are investing in LTE, Optic Fibre from 100MB to 1GB speeds, 4G, Linux cloud services, etc.

      Good luck.

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    • I see the future of the Zambian Enterprise very bright and promising. The average citizen has taken the mantle of hard work making sure they are all economic players.

      We have almost recovered the 40 years backwardness we encountered 24 years plus ago and are now set on an upward trajectory.

      I can almost say I am getting my Zambia back and telecommunication back then was second to none so this investment is very much welcome.

      Let’s roll …

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    • @ B R Mumba, Sr

      “upward trajectory” to where? You and Zamtel “upward trajectory” is the same. Wet dreams!!!

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  1. $300million is a lot of money. sure looks like a continuation of the $42 million fire engine strategy. Inflated project costs to facilitate indiscriminate looting of zambia’s resources.

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  2. First and foremost, where did you get that name Freelance? Secondly, where are you going to get the $300m? Third, isnt this the money that you are suppose to be mobilising to pay LapGreen? Fourth, what happened to the Euro Bond money that you were given?

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  3. Its funny how conveniently no one has made mention where the $305 million will come from. Last i checked the company has been loss making and only made a profit recently. I stand to be corrected.

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  4. Why is there so much pessimism in the minds of people who post on social media?

    I get surprised how some people lose track of the topic under issue. How on earth can the upgrade of ZAMTEL have to do with the name Freelance?

    Why are we so antagonistic to every situation that we lose sight of real issues?

    God help Zambia.

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    • Pessimism or Realism?
      Look at the facts before accusing others of “pessimism”.
      Reality check suggests that Zamtel future is the same as the Dodos.

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  5. All these can happen BUT IF WE HAVE NO COMMERCIAL/BUSINESS STRATEGY to run ZAMTEL AS A COMMERCIAL ENTITY, IT WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING, but DEBTS,LOSSES AND MORE POVERTY!! Like @1.1 Mr.Intelligent has put it, WHY WOULD ONE INVEST SO MUCH ON TECHNOLOGIES (2G,3G) that are becoming OBSOLETE instead of looking to the future, to get SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY, TO GAIN AN ADVANTAGE OVER COMPETITORS!! Who can disagree when one says, this could be a scheme to loot resources??

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  6. Whilst the competition MTN and Airtel sold all their towers to IHS reducing their fixed costs, freeing up capital on their balance sheets and becoming leaner organizations, ZAMTEL does the opposite and builds its own towers most likely through $300m debt. What would be the business justification for this? IHS has a total of 1,960 towers across the country that ZAMTEL could use under a tower/infrastructure sharing deal which nullifies the claim to increase coverage!

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  7. Well done ZAMTEL! We can do it! Please overtake those private phone companies who are overcharging us! I knew the government made the right choice to get ZAMTEL back and to choose a bright man for the top job! The sky is the limit! Please learn from ZESCO how it transformed its tele. God bless you! I know Hanvera jealousy Hagain!

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  8. How is it the people with “facts” are all hiding behind fake names.

    Zamtel is making a huge effort right now and it’s showing, it won’t happen overnight but if you take time to watch or help instead of talk, you’ll notice.

    Do you really expect them to just phase off 2G and 3G for “LTE”? Not every phone in Zambia can handle 4G, a significant amount of phones are still on 2G/3G,like marketeers, bus conductors, farmers…are you saying they don’t deserve better voice quality than you with your used Samsung? they are accommodating as many people as they can, the right thing to do.

    Zamtel is under new management and it shows, if someone running a 2 bit business applies for employment, gets rejected, and runs to social media to insult the government well then that shows you…

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  9. … the level at which Zamtel is at now, no more games 😀

    If you think people are stealing money yet you can’t prove it nor stop them, best you save your breath coz either way this upgrade is happening, and Zamtel will keep making headlines while you only make comments.

    Keep up the marvelous work Bwalya, Masua and, Mupeta.

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