Zambia’s fourth mobile player Beeline Telecom is planning to launch commercial LTE within the first month of 2023, according to regulator ZICTA (Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority).
In November 2021, ZICTA extended Beeline’s deadline for launch from 30th June 2022 to 31st January 2023. The regulator’s Manager of Legal and Regulatory Affairs Banji Michelo told Broadcast Media Africa that this was “because the company was unable to commence operations due to challenges with the procurement process owing to COVID-19.”
Beeline Telecom was awarded an operating licence in February 2021, and has declared its intention to invest US$400 million to launch its mobile service in Zambia. The operator claims that it will directly create 450 jobs in doing so.
Data from TeleGeography puts Zambia’s total mobile subscriptions at around 19.2 million at the end of September 2022 – a penetration rate of around 95%. Airtel leads the market with a share of around 42%, while MTN takes second place with 39% and Zamtel holding the remaining 19%. ZICTA expects Beeline’s entry to boost competition in the market.