The Zambian government has opened talks with Chinese tech giant Huawei over the possibility of deploying 5 Generation Internet in Zambia.
5G is the next generation of mobile internet that is expected to enable everything from instant downloads of movies to connected self-driving cars.
The move to deploy 5G internet in Zambia was disclosed by Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba who met Huawei officials at his office recently.
Dr Mushimba said Huawei, who are the technology partner for the GRZ Communication Tower Project Phase II have committed to upgrading all the sites seamlessly to 5G capability.
He was speaking on Tuesday at Zamtel House in Lusaka when he officiated at the launch of ZamPay Number Neutral Capability Feature.
The Number Neutral Capability Feature allows customers across all three networks in Zambia to download ZamPay, the country’ first Quick Response (QR) code payment platform.
The new feature on ZamPay also allows customers outside Zambia to download ZamPay on their phones and send cash to their contacts in Zambia at a small fee.
Dr Mushimba emphasized that Zambia does not want to be left behind in innovation and adoption of internet technologies.
South Korea SK Telecom KT and LG Uplus launched the world first nationwide 5G mobile on April 3rd 2019 while Verizon has begun rolling out its 5G services in Chicago.
The US has made some solid ground catching up to China’s existing 5G presence.
A recent report published by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), which represents the US wireless communications industry, found the US and China are now tied for first place in 5G readiness.
According to the Financial Times, Huawei, the company that is leading a global race to build 5G mobile networks revealed that it has 40 commercial contracts it has won for 5G equipment are from mainly from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and one contract from Africa.
Since last year, the USA has been lobbying other governments to drop Huawei as a 5G equipment supplier, arguing that the security of their networks could be compromised.
In Africa, MTN South Africa and Huawei conducted the continent’s first outdoor 5G field trial in Hartfield, Pretoria on May 8th 2018.
And Dr Mushimba said Zambia wants to be ready to benefit from the immense opportunities that Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0. and Artificial Intelligence that come with 5G.
“We have put innovation at the center of the future of the digital economy. We will invest to make it to grow. You have heard of the towers, the 1009 we are putting up across the country. We are now motivating for a new project to upgrade all the towers from 2,3 to 4G, that means internet across the country and this is fast internet,” Dr Mushimba said.
“I was meeting Huawei in my office the other day, we are upgrading to 4G all the towers and we understand and for today, that is enough but we have heard about 5G, we asked them what guarantee do we have that as we upgrade from 4G to 5G, will be seamless, they have assured that the upgrade will mean the towers will be 5G enabled. We will be ready because 5G will be here,”
He added, “I truly believe in the unprecedented impact that the internet will have on our lives.
Dr Mushimba described the launch of the ZamPay Number Neutral Capability Feature as ground breaking innovation.
He said even those that are outside Zambia, they can download ZamPay on their phone and send money to someone with a Zambian number.
“I just wish Zamtel would have launched this when I was living in the US many years ago. When I was in the US, I used to struggle to send cash back home to my Mom, sending a 300 dollars, I would be required to pay 60 dollars in fees, I don’t think Zamtel will charge that much,” he said.
Dr Mushimba said with products such as ZamPay, the country will accelerate its efforts of going cashless.
“We are going to transact cashless because all the barriers that existed have been addressed with this launch today,” he said.
At the same function, Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Mr Sydney Mupeta said Zamtel is determined to contribute positively to financial inclusion and urged business players to register with the platform for easier paperless transactions.
Mr Mupeta said the ZamPay platform was not accessible to customers on the other networks except to those on Zamtel.
“However, the Number Neutral capability feature we are launching today will now allow customers on all networks to download the ZamPay Application and be able to enjoy the benefits of transacting by simply scanning a QR code using their mobile devices,” Mr Mupeta said.
He added, “this development is a huge milestone for Zamtel and for our people who were previously not able to use the system because of the limitation when we first launched it. Today we celebrate and welcome to the ZamPay family a number of our brothers and sisters who are currently on other networks and were not able to be part of this exciting innovation. I therefore urge them to take advantage of this opportunity and download the ZamPay Application on Google Play store today.”
Mr Mupeta also announced that ZamPay now has additional features to improve customer experience.
“In addition to the number neutral capability, a number of other features have been added to the ZamPay product to enhance its benefits. Last week, we announced the integration of ZamPay with the Zamtel Kwacha platform. With this integration, our customers on ZamPay are now able to send and receive money just like they would on any mobile money platform. The customers on ZamPay will soon be able to purchase other services such as Water and ZESCO units, DSTV and other services which are available on the mobile money platform. It is evident that ZamPay will soon become an integral part of our day to day lifestyle,” he said.
Take it easy abena Mushimba is Zambia really ready for 5G ??? Just focus in covering 4 G adequately first we don’t have the level of IOT strategy that can justify 5G. With Business stiffled for Huawei in a big Market such as the U.S for 5G business the company is now looking to countries like Zambia to compensate even in a little way for loss of business so ba Mushimba tell us why Zambia needs 5G at the moment when a well implemented 4G is currently more than adequate for our needs and Mupeta knows that all too well
Minister of Zamtel.
When are you paying LapGreen back to rabels? You are enjoying stolen properties from dead Gadaffi.
At first I got excited thinking they were talking about a new Rail Network. Bus alas, it’s nothing very productive to the current problems Zambian economic problems. What Zambia needs now is to open up new mines that would be operated by the Zambian government in order to broaden forex reserves and create immediate employment to its people.
Zambia should NOT leave everything to the Chinese. Remember, they have a country to go back to.
God bless Zambia.
Another promise by Brian.
Now let us wait for postponements.
At the moment zamtel cannot even handle 3G. Keeping up with the Jones’s mentality is not progressive. Follow the queue first improve zamtel connectivity on 3G and evaluate and then move on.
Another overpriced contract on the way on top of another tower contract which is incomplete and already obsolete!!
Its not even in America yet! Bring the Airline first at least. You can’t even lie right iwe Mushimba.
Bola panshi bane. Mmmmmmh? Easy basa, slow, slow. Ndola airport first, then high speed train railway then 5 fwakuti, fwakuti for Zampeta. 5 fwakuti fwakuti is just warming up in Europe. Manage your rush for technology. That tech will demand for me to upgrade my gadget. Right now we’re trying to understand Zampeta’s 4G or is it 4.5G; otherwise, I think this rush for technology changes could be a way for serious kickbacks.
Never thought about it from your angle. Learnt something…
This minister has destroyed Zamtel by putting the entire workforce on 6 to 12 months contract and when the contracts expire workers are not paid their gratuities. The PF government is a bunch of thugs.
Smart and intelligent minister; understands technology and knows what he is talking about
What technology, even Congo will have 5G, everyone.
Peter Haimbe – Are you smart and intelligent yourself? Really laughable
Mushimba should be moved from to PF Spokesman position because he likes the Microphone. He likes to pronounce things that never materialize. 5G? Iyeee! Where is Zambia Airways and many other things you have announced are coming?
Why rush for 4G when you can wait for 8G in future?
Telcom companies in Zambia have not found it difficult to move from 0G to 4G. Phones coming on the market now are already 5G capable. Moving to 5G will be seamless. Nice that ZAMTEL is not sticking behind like decades ago when it thought landlines will forever be king.
Good thing is that 5G will eliminate the need to travel and create workshops. Everyone can attend from the office. That will plug a big drain of GRZ coffers since any simple workshop currently costs more than one classroom block. You can deal with your banker or Traffic police from your office. Being stuck in traffic to business will not be necessary thereby diminishing carbon footprints. Dazzling possibilities with 5G.
“Place the title of “Dr.” before the name of a person who is a doctor of medicine or psychology, doctor of dentistry, or doctor of veterinary medicine. For example: Dr. George Ross. Always write the word “doctor” in its abbreviated form (“Dr.”) when it goes before the person’s name. Never write, for example, Doctor George Ross. Do not combine the title of “Dr.” with any other title even if the person could appropriately be addressed by a different title. Never write, for example, “Dr. George Ross, PhD,” even if the person is a medical doctor who has also earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Pick one title. Do not use the “Dr.” title when referring to someone who is solely an academic doctor.”
5g?Where is 3g here in rural Mpongwe barely 5km from town, 3g covers 1sq kilometer, the rest is 2g which takes hours,why can’t we be systematic? We are getting things we don’t need now which can wait,we’re chocking in debt our country is on its knees
“Put a comma followed by the title “PhD” after the name of a person who has earned a Doctor of Philosophy doctoral degree. For example: Stacey Childs, PhD. Do not combine the title of “PhD” with any other title even if the person could appropriately be addressed by a different title. For instance, even if the person being addressed is a doctor of medicine who has also earned a PhD, never write, for example, Dr. Stacey Childs, PhD. Pick one title. Do not use the “PhD” title when referring to someone who not earned a Doctor of Philosophy doctoral degree.“
Where is Zambia Airways first?
…why should he be asking them whether the transitioning from 4g to 5g will be seamless? what do you expect them to say, no it’ll be very problematic.. that’s his job to do the necessary research. why are these guys so lazy!
and a person in his position should have technical knowhow to know how 4g is different than 5g
4g uses macro cells (bigger/wider) whereas 5g uses small cells, basically 5g uses internals, so if they are busy putting up towers thinking those are. 5g sends encoded data through radio waves, for the each cell site to transmit, it must be connected to some sort of network backbone (using existing zamtell or whatever is in Zambia). it’s not a sa (stand alone) technology as each territory needs to send data to other cells . I don’t know if Zambia is ready for it just…
… I don’t know if Zambia is ready for it just yet
I don’t understand why Zambia would be looking to go that route right now, I don’t think it should be a priority. even the us isn’t using 5g just yet, only 5 countries world wide are using 5g. the huawei cfo is currently under house arrest in Vancouver…lots of political and financial fights between china and the us, the us accusing Huawei of using the Huawei technology for spying. if you own a Huawei phone here there are certain sites you won’t be able to access. both Canada and austral have put on hold plans to upgrade to 5g using Huawei, so it would be prudent for Zambia to do the same, the risks and costs far out way the cost and risks
have noticed that these ministers are keen for all these new contracts and spending …you will never hear them quizzing CEOs about profits and dividends
This will be another zambia airways saga. They will say roll out by end of the year, then postponed to next year then postponed to 2021 and so forth until people forget.
That 5G is cancer causing technology. They should find out why there is a massive outcry in America over this issue. They should consider it.
Does it mean everything government does is wrong? I think we should be honest and truthful.Let’s criticise government on corruption and the like not on everything bane.
You will die of pain, Dont support failures, Brian is full of pronouncements then he postpones them
Talking about 5G while 4G behaves like EDGE Ubuntu yama.
But just let the stupid airways to gather dust on on the shelf okay twaumfwana iwe ka Mushimba?
They get excited when the see an opportunity to loot, it doesn’t matter to them whether the project adds value to the economy or not as long as they stand a chance to steal millions of US$. They will need to upgrade the towers as well. It’s big money involved. How many people are going to buy 5G mobile phones. Concrete on repaying your kaloba. Leave the 5G business for future governments to consider. At the moment Zambia doesn’t need 5G use minister of promises
Damn they never even rolled 4G by 2014 & as at now, where is the money to jump to 5G.
THESE GUYS JUST CHEAT US, THEY BUY JUST ONE 5G BTS FOR MAYADI IN LUSAKA AND SAY/Ad all over WE’VE ROLLED 5G.
Right now am struggling connecting in internet using simcard, guess it’s a 2G BTS which was recovered from LUSAKA urbanin 2008 & now installed to our residential
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