The Zambian government’s focus on developing ICTs to spur growth in the digital economy is delivering on its promise, according to a new report from Research & Markets.
Consumers have benefited from access to international submarine fibre optic cables, as this has caused 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.