Zambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Zambia approaches half-way point for rural mobile tower project

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 mid-2018 this project had helped extend mobile coverage to about 95% of the population, and the project is expected to be about half-complete by the end of the year.

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:

  • Vodafone Zambia awarded licence to offer VoLTE services;
  • Government introduces tax on VoIP calls;
  • Zamtel commissions additional towers as part of a government-funded rural infrastructure project;
  • Government calls for Zamtel to be split into three units before being privatised;
  • 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;
  • Zamtel extends its LTE service;
  • Government adopts new converged licensing regime;
  • National Data Center opens as part of the government’s Smart Zambia project;
  • Vodafone Zambia completes LTE-A rollout program;
  • Western Fibre Route cable connecting Malawi to Zambia;
  • Airtel commits an additional $142 million for network expansion and upgrades;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market updates to December 2017, operator data to Q2 2018, 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

  • 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)
    • 5.12 Converged licensing
  • 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. Mobile market
      • 10.1 Market analysis
      • 10.2 Mobile statistics
      • 10.3 Mobile data
        • 10.3.1 SMS
      • 10.4 Mobile broadband
      • 10.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
      • 10.6 Regulatory issues
        • 10.6.1 SIM card registration
        • 10.6.2 Spectrum auction
        • 10.6.3 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 10.7 Mobile infrastructure
            • 10.7.1 Other infrastructure developments
          • 10.8 Major mobile operators
            • 10.8.1 Airtel Zambia (formerly Zain/Celtel, Zamcell)
            • 10.8.2 MTN Zambia (formerly Telecel)
            • 10.8.3 Zamtel Mobile (formerly Cell Z)
            • 10.8.4 Vodafone Zambia
            • 10.8.5 UZI Zambia
          • 10.9 Mobile content and applications
            • 10.9.1 M-commerce
            • 10.9.2 M-payment and m-banking
          • 10.10 Mobile handsets
        • 11. Related reports
        • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Zambia – 2018 (e)
        • Table 2 – Zamtel fixed-line revenue – 2014 – 2017
        • Table 3 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2009
        • Table 4 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
        • Table 5 – International bandwidth – 2000 - 2016
        • Table 6 – Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
        • Table 7 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2018
        • Table 8 – Historic - Internet users – 2000 - 2009
        • Table 9 – Internet users – 2010 - 2018
        • Table 10 – Internet connections by data rate – 2011 - 2015
        • Table 11 –DSL subscribers – 2010 - 2018
        • Table 12 – FttB subscribers – 2011 - 2018
        • Table 13 – Annualised mobile ARPU – 2012 - 2017
        • Table 14 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 - 2009
        • Table 15 – Mobile subscribers (active) and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
        • Table 16 – Registered mobile SIM cards – 2012 - 2015
        • Table 17 – Mobile market revenue and capex – 2011 - 2017
        • Table 18 – SMS and MMS messages sent – 2011 - 2017
        • Table 19 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2017
        • Table 20 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2018
        • Table 21 – Forecast – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
        • Table 22 – Voice interconnection rates for operators – 2013 - 2017
        • Table 23 – SMS interconnection rates for operators – 2013 - 2017
        • Table 24 – Mobile towers by platform – 2016 - 2017
        • Table 25 – Airtel Zambia subscribers – 2014 - 2017
        • Table 26 – MTN Zambia financial data– 2012 - 2018
        • Table 27 – MTN Zambia subscribers – 2012 - 2018
        • Table 28 – MTN Zambia mobile ARPU – 2013 - 2018
        • Table 29 – Zamtel mobile revenue – 2012 – 2013
        • Table 30 – Zamtel mobile subscribers – 2015 - 2017
        • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
        • Chart 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2018
        • Chart 3 – Mobile market revenue and capex – 2011 – 2017
        • Chart 4 – MTN Zambia financial data– 2012 – 2018
        • Exhibit 1 – Map of Zambia
        • Exhibit 2 – Vodacom – in and out and back in Zambia

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