State owned telecommunications giant Zamtel has continued with its robust network expansion drive with 783 additional telecommunication towers erected countrywide.
Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Mr Sydney Mupeta announced that the new towers are part of the GRZ Communication Tower Project Phase II which his company has been implementing since late 2017.
Mr Mupeta said the project which is nearing completion has significantly transformed the telecommunications landscape in Zambia especially in rural areas.
He was speaking this week when Zamtel commissioned two communication towers in Kaputa and Nchelenge in Northern and Luapula Provinces respectively.
“We are glad to report that so far, this project has delivered over 783 new sites with Northern Province accounting for 145 sites and Kaputa District receiving 7 new towers. This project has been running since late 2017 and as it nears completion, we are confident that we will deliver the remaining few sites this year which is well within the project schedule,” Mr Mupeta said.
He said in Luapula Province, Zamtel has so far rolled out 103 new communications sites with Nchelenge alone receiving six sites at Nshinda Primary, Kashikishi, Mwatishi, Nchelenge, and Mantapala Refugee Camp, including one at Kabuta.
“We believe that once this project is fully completed, the majority of Zambians will have a whole different experience with mobile communication as the project is targeting over 90% mobile network coverage penetration across the Country,” he said.
He said Zamtel is taking a deliberate approach to the business and focusing on harnessing the business potential that lies in most rural areas.
‘This district has massive potential in agriculture, fisheries and livestock and we know that Kaputa is one of the leading producers of rice in Northern Province. As a business, all this presents great incentives for us to extend Zamtel products and services to the people of Kaputa because we know that access to reliable and quality mobile phone technology can serve as an enabler for investment and economic growth.”
He reiterated that the additional sites that Zamtel is bringing to Northern Province will play a critical role in contributing to the socio-economic development of this region through reliable communication, empowerment opportunities, and job creation.
Mr Mupeta said Zamtel will continue implementing strategies that will fully reposition the business.
And speaking earlier, Transport and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya said government under President Edgar Lungu has made tremendous strides in ensuring the development of an effective and reliable telecommunication network through supporting the implementation of various telecommunication projects.
“The project which began in 2017 is aimed at constructing and upgrading a total of 1009 communication towers as well as Zamtel’s core radio transmission network infrastructure at a total cost of US$280. I am reliably informed that 783 towers have so far been constructed and are on air. This is commendable work on the part of Zamtel who are the project managers as well as strategic partners with government in the development of the communications sector,” said Mr. Kafwaya.
“This is an initiative by government in response to the cries of our people in many unserved and under-served parts of the country. It is well known that communication is key to any country’s social and economic development. For many years, various parts of our country have experienced challenges brought about by lack of communication.”
Mr. Kafwaya stated that President Lungu’s desire is to see development extended to all parts of the country.
Mr. Kafwaya and the Zamtel delegation also took time to pay courtesy calls on Senior Chief Mununga’s Palace in Nchelenge and Chieftainess Kaputa’s Palace in Kaputa