Zambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Zambia launches biometric SIM card registration

Zambia is a landlocked country with a focus on developing ICTs to spur growth in the digital economy. Consumers have benefited from access to international submarine fibre optic cables, which has seen a considerable reduction in fixed-line and mobile access pricing. Pricing has also been reduced in recent quarters as network operators battle to gain customers in anticipation of the launch of services by UZI Telecom.

The government’s Universal Access Fund has made considerable progress in delivering telecom services to underserved areas, particularly in paying for more than 1,000 base stations to be built. By the end of 2018 this project had was about half-completed.

Separately, mobile network operators continue to invest in 3G and LTE-based services, while the government also contracted Huawei to upgrade the state-owned mobile infrastructure for 5G services.

Fixed-line broadband services remain underdeveloped, though MTN Zambia has initiated an FttP program, initially in Lusaka.

Key developments:

  • Vodacom Group sells Business unit in Zambia; has its local operating license revoked;
  • Biometric SIM card registration scheme launched;
  • Zamtel commissions additional towers as part of a government-funded rural infrastructure project;
  • Parliamentary committee proposes sale of 40% of Zamtel to a third-party player;
  • Huawei contracted to upgrade state-owned mobile tower network for 5G;
  • MTN Zambia announces FttP rollout plans via its ‘Connected Home’ initiative, launches micro lending service Kongola;
  • Government adopts new converged licensing regime;
  • National Data Center opens as part of the government’s Smart Zambia project;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates to March 2019, operator data to Q1 2019, Telecom maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel, LAP Green); MTN Zambia; Bharti Airtel; Cell Z (Zamtel); ZamNet; Coppernet Solutions; UUNet Zambia; Microlink Technologies; AfriConnect; Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO); Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC); Comium.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market analysis
  • Regional African Market Comparison

    • TMI vs GDP
    • Mobile and mobile broadband
    • Fixed and mobile broadband
  • Regulatory environment

    • Telecommunications Act 1994
    • ICT Policy 2007
    • ICT Act 2009
    • Regulatory Framework 2017
    • Regulatory authority
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • International gateways
    • Licensing
      • New unified licensing regime 2009
    • Universal Access Fund
    • Infrastructure sharing
    • Privatisation
    • Quality of Service (QoS)
    • Converged licensing
  • Fixed network operators

    • Zamtel
      • CDMA2000 wireless local loop (WLL)
      • Domestic satellite network
    • ZESCO
    • Liquid Telecom Zambia
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • National backbone networks
    • Data centres
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine fibre
      • Satellite
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
      • Public internet access locations
      • Community telecentres
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • Leased lines
      • Other fixed broadband services
  • Digital economy

    • E-health
    • E-learning
    • E-government
    • E-banking
  • Mobile market

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile data
      • SMS
    • Mobile broadband
    • Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Regulatory issues
      • SIM card registration
      • Spectrum auction
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • Major mobile operators
      • Airtel Zambia (formerly Zain/Celtel, Zamcell)
      • MTN Zambia (formerly Telecel)
      • Zamtel Mobile (formerly Cell Z)
      • Vodafone Zambia
      • UZI Zambia
    • Mobile content and applications
      • M-commerce
      • M-payment and m-banking
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Zambia – 2018
  • Table 2 – International bandwidth – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 3 – Forecast – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 4 – Voice interconnection rates for operators – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 5 – SMS interconnection rates for operators – 2013 – 2019

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 2 – East Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Africa – Middle-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Challengers) – 2018
  • Chart 4 – East Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country – 2018
  • Chart 5 – East Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2018
  • Chart 6 – East Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Zamtel fixed-line revenue – 2014 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 10 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – DSL subscribers – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 12 – FttB subscribers – 2011 - 2019
  • Chart 13 – Annualised mobile ARPU – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 14 – Active mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 15 – Mobile market revenue and capex – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 16 – SMS and MMS messages sent – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 17 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 18 – Mobile towers by platform – 2016 – 2019
  • Chart 19 – Airtel Zambia subscribers – 2014 – 2018
  • Chart 20 – MTN Zambia financial data – 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 21 – MTN Zambia subscribers – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 22 – MTN Zambia mobile ARPU – 2013 – 2019
  • Chart 23 – Zamtel mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 2 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 3 – East Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 4 – Vodacom – in and out and back in Zambia

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Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.

Dominic Schipano, CITT

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