Zambia Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 4 Jan 2024 Update History

Report Status: Current

Report Pages: 180

Zambia has two MNOs launch 5G services

Following elections held in August 2021, the new government immediately established a Ministry of Technology and Science to promote the use of ICT in developing economic growth and social inclusion. This focus on ICT, and on telecoms in particular, has been central to government strategies for some years. As part of the Smart Zambia initiative, investment has been made in data centres, a computer assembly plant, ICT training centres, and a Smart Education program. These efforts have been combined with the extension of broadband access and improved connectivity to international submarine cables. In turn, this has resulted in a considerable reduction in fixed-line and mobile access pricing for end-users.

Following the allocation of additional spectrum in mid-2022, MTN Zambia launched 5G services in November 2022, followed by Airtel Zambia in July 2023. While these services have a limited reach, the government has looked to close down GSM networks during 2024 and allow the refarming of spectrum for 5G use. This will go some way to delivering the universal internet coverage which forms part of the government’s ICT strategy and ambitions for a digital economy transformation.

Key developments

  • Zambia’s 2024 budget geared to helping develop the ICT sector.
  • Government aiming to phase out GSM and ensure all mobile infrastructure is LTE-enabled.
  • Starlink launches commercial satellite broadband services covering all of Zambia.
  • MTN Zambia and Airtel Zambia launch limited 5G services.
  • Government proposes m-money levy in the 2024 national budget.
  • Paratus Zambia and Meta complete a 900km open access metro fibre network covering ten cities in Zambia.
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates to June 2023, operator data to Q3 2023, updated 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.

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