Zambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

New Zambian data centre opened to encourage digital economy growth

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 considerably reduction in fixed-line and mobile access pricing. The government’s Universal Access Fund has made considerable progress, particularly in paying for more than 1,000 base stations to be built. As a result, by the end of 2017 mobile coverage should be available to 92% of the population. Separately, mobile network operators continue to invest in 3G and LTE-based services, while several ISPs have also rolled out WiMAX wireless broadband networks. MTN Zambia in addition has initiated an FttP program, initially in Lusaka. These developments are set to increase overall broadband penetration significantly in coming years.

Key developments:

  • Government secures funds to build 800 mobile towers in rural areas;
  • MTN Zambia announces FttP rollout plans via its ‘Connected Home’ initiative, launches micro lending service Kongola;
  • Chinese government lends $273 million to complete digital broadcast process by end-2017;
  • New licence framework could pave the way for a fourth mobile network operator;
  • Zamtel launches LTE service in the Copperbelt Province as part of the Universal Access Service;
  • National Data Center opens as part of the government’s Smart Zambia project;
  • Vodafone Zambia completes LTE-A rollout program;
  • iWayAfrica Zambia adds FttP services to its VSAT offerings;
  • Liquid Telecom extends FttP services;
  • IMF no longer sets government sale of its stake in Zamtel as a condition for $1.3 billion loan;
  • Western Fibre Route cable connecting Malawi to Zambia;
  • Airtel commits an additional $142 million for network expansion and upgrades;
  • Mobile subscriber base falls as unregistered SIM cards are removed from operators’ services;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates to June 2017, operator data to Q1 2017, recent market developments.

Market penetration rates in Zambia’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 0.7%
Internet users 18%
Mobile SIM (population) 78%

Companies mentioned in this report:

Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel, LapGreen); 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

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Telecommunications Act 1994
    • 5.2 ICT Policy 2007
    • 5.3 ICT Act 2009
    • 5.4 Regulatory Framework 2017
    • 5.5 Regulatory authority
    • 5.6 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 5.6.1 International gateways
    • 5.7 Licensing
      • 5.7.1 New unified licensing regime 2009
    • 5.8 Universal Access Fund
    • 5.9 Infrastructure sharing
    • 5.10 Privatisation
    • 5.11 Quality of Service (QoS)
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Zamtel
      • 6.1.1 CDMA2000 wireless local loop (WLL)
      • 6.1.2 Domestic satellite network
    • 6.2 ZESCO
    • 6.3 CEC Liquid Telecom
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1.1 National backbone networks
    • 7.1.2 Data centres
    • 7.1.3 International infrastructure
    • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
      • 8.2 Introduction and statistical overview
        • 8.2.1 Market analysis
        • 8.2.2 Broadband statistics
        • 8.2.3 Public internet access locations
        • 8.2.4 Community telecentres
      • 8.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies
        • 8.3.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
        • 8.3.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
        • 8.3.3 Leased lines
        • 8.3.4 Other fixed broadband services
    • 9. Digital economy
      • 9.1 E-health
      • 9.2 E-learning
      • 9.3 E-government
      • 9.4 E-banking
    • 10. Digital media
      • 10.1 Digital TV developments
      • 10.2 Communications: VoIP
    • 11. Mobile market
      • 11.1 Market analysis
      • 11.2 Mobile statistics
      • 11.3 Mobile data
        • 11.3.1 SMS
      • 11.4 Mobile broadband
      • 11.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
        • 11.5.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
      • 11.6 Regulatory issues
        • 11.6.1 SIM card registration
        • 11.6.2 Spectrum auction
        • 11.6.3 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 11.7 Mobile infrastructure
        • 11.7.1 Digital networks
        • 11.7.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 11.8 Major mobile operators
        • 11.8.1 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain/Celtel, Zamcell)
        • 11.8.2 MTN Zambia (formerly Telecel)
        • 11.8.3 Zamtel Mobile (formerly Cell Z)
        • 11.8.4 Vodafone Zambia
      • 11.9 Mobile content and applications
        • 11.9.1 M-commerce
        • 11.9.2 M-payment and m-banking
      • 11.10 Mobile handsets
    • 12. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Country statistics Zambia – 2016 (e)
    • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
    • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 7 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 9 – International bandwidth – 2000 - 2015
    • Table 10 – Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 11 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 12 – Historic - Internet users – 2000 - 2009
    • Table 13 – Internet users – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 14 – Internet connections by data rate – 2011 - 2015
    • Table 15 –DSL subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 16 – Zamtel residential DSL pricing – 2017
    • Table 17 –FttB subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 18 – Mobile ARPU – 2012 - 2016
    • Table 19 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 20 – Mobile subscribers (active) and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 21 – Registered mobile SIM cards – 2012 - 2016
    • Table 22 – Mobile market revenue and capex – 2011 - 2016
    • Table 23 – SMS and MMS messages sent – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 24 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 25 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2015
    • Table 26 – Forecast – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • Table 27 – Voice interconnection rates for operators – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 28 – SMS interconnection rates for operators – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 29 – Airtel Zambia subscribers – 2014 - 2016
    • Table 30 – MTN Zambia financial data– 2012 - 2016
    • Table 31 – MTN Zambia subscribers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 32 – MTN Zambia mobile ARPU – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 33 – Zamtel mobile revenue – 2012 – 2013
    • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
    • Chart 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2018
    • Exhibit 1 – Map of Zambia
    • Exhibit 2 – Vodacom – in and out and back in Zambia

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