UZI Zambia Mobile has postponed its commercial launch again, with the Zambian government citing financial issues.
Misheck Lungu, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC), stated that the operator was “in the process of mobilising funds” to support a commercial launch, adding that UZI had requested an extension in order to address “some hitches”. However, neither Lungu nor the operator has mooted a possible new launch date.
UZI was awarded Zambia’s fourth mobile licence in April 2018, and had aimed to launch services in November that year. However, after running into issues with formalising its licence and obtaining the frequencies that it required to offer services, it delayed its launch into early 2019.
By March 2019, it emerged that UZI had been granted a further extension to its launch timeframe by the Zambian authorities. The operator claimed that “behind the scenes technical deployment” would be completed by November 2019, and still maintained that it would launch by the end of the year. The repeated delays have spurred rumours that the operator could lose its concession.