16 May 2019
Zambia’s regulator has reported a sharp rise in the number of mobile internet users.
According to the latest statistics made public by Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), the number has increased by approximately two million to reach close to 10 million people from 7,910,995 in just over three months.
It said the increase was attributed to, among other things, improved data networks, affordable data services and the expansion of networks by operators who are aggressively competing for customers.
Zambia’s minister of communications and transport Brian Mushimba said people were now taking advantage of 4G roll out by operators MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia and Zamtel which meant they now have access to improved internet speeds.
He also assured the sector of the government’s commitment to ensuring access to both internet and mobile phone connectivity and added that he has directed stateowned Zamtel to fast-track the rollout of 4G nationally.
“Every citizen, regardless of which part of the country he or she comes from, is entitled to voice calls and better internet connectivity,” said Mushimba. Zamtel chief executive officer Victor Mupeta said the company had embarked on an expansion drive that will see 700 communication towers erected by the close of the year.
Mupeta said the new sites would be mainly located in under-served rural areas. “Internet connectivity has become more of a necessity than luxury, added Mupeta. “We are now in an era where mobile device users are constantly using their gadgets to connect to the internet and stay online for very long periods of time navigating different apps.”