Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics - Zambia
Airtel makes available Facebook's Internet.org mobile app to provide free basic services
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Zambia's telecommunications market.
Subjects covered include:
Key statistics; Market and industry overviews; Government policies affecting the telecoms industry; Market liberalisation and regulatory issues; The impact of the global economic crisis; Telecoms operators privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences; Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband); Infrastructure development; The impact of access to international submarine fibre for a landlocked country; Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G; Internet and broadband development and pricing; Average revenue per user; Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
Zambia's GDP has remained almost unaffected by the global economic crisis and is expected to continue growing at around 8% p.a.
The landlocked country has recently gained access to international submarine fibre optic cables for the first time, which has already led to some significant retail price reductions for broadband services. Third Generation (3G) mobile broadband services have been launched and national fibre networks are being rolled out by four different companies. The first commercial LTE network launches have been undertaken, which has dramatically increased the number of mobile broadband subscribers in the country. Several ISPs have also rolled out WiMAX wireless broadband networks. These developments are set to increase overall broadband penetration significantly in coming years.
Although the mobile voice market is approaching saturation, the government is reviving old plans to issue a fourth mobile licence. The country's telecoms regulator has launched legal action against the existing mobile networks because of poor quality of service (QoS).
Zamtel contracts NEC Corporation to build a digital microwave radio transmission network; Airtel commits an additional $142 million for network expansion and upgrades; ISAT Africa sets up the first commercial VSAT hub in the country; mobile subscriber base falls as unregistered SIM cards are removed from operators' services; Internet.org initiative partners with Airtel to provide fee basic services via a mobile app; new international fibre connections lead to lower broadband prices; legal action against mobile networks for poor QoS; commercial LTE services launched; CEC Liquid Telecoms investing $15 million in infrastructure; Thuraya signs deal with Bharti Airtel to provide mobile satellite services; government confirms plans to licence a fourth mobile operator in 2015; IHS Holding acquires towers from MTN Zambia; rural base stations come online as part of government project to extend mobile and ICT services to rural areas; Zamtel announces plans to launch its own mobile money transaction platform; report update includes regulator and operator data to Q1 2014, recent market developments.
Estimated market penetration rates in Zambia's telecoms sector end-2014 (e) Market | Penetration rate Mobile | 73% Fixed | 0.9% Internet | 18% (Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)