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Zambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

The Zambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.


Executive summary

Zambia’s GDP growth has remained almost unaffected by the global economic crisis. After briefly dipping to 4.5% in 2009 it is expected to return to the level of between 5% and 6% p.a. from 2010 which it has enjoyed consistently over the past six years.

The country’s telecommunications market is dominated by mobile network operator Zain (formerly Celtel) which has a market share of almost 75%. However, the fastest subscriber growth is currently seen by the runner-up, MTN (formerly Telecel) from South Africa. The average revenue per user (ARPU) on the other hand has dropped sharply in 2009 after it had already reversed its long-term downtrend in 2008.

The third competitor in the mobile market is Cell Z, the mobile division of the national telco, Zamtel. Zamtel has been performing poorly in the mobile as well as the fixed-line sector, despite monopoly rights in the latter, including the international gateway. This has also limited growth in the Internet and broadband sector, with some of the highest prices for international bandwidth on the continent.

The monopoly on the international gateway and restrictions on VoIP Internet telephony are set to fall under the new ICT Act of 2009, which will make international calls and borderless international roaming much more attractive. The Act will also establish a new unified licensing regime which will enable more competition in all market sectors from existing and new players. With penetration rates in all sectors still below regional averages, the growth prospects are excellent.

Since 2009 mobile handsets are being manufactured in Zambia for the domestic market as well as export.

A majority stake in Zamtel is up for privatisation in the first half of 2010. One of its key assets is a national fibre network that is currently being rolled out, including connections to neighbouring countries which will provide transit links to international submarine fibre optic cables off the African east and west coasts. However, alternative domestic fibre is already being rolled out by three other companies, and one of them has recently completed the country’s first ever connection to an international submarine fibre optic cable, SAT-3/WASC.

Alternative international fibre links will go live in 2010 and 2011, reducing the dependency on a single provider, which will first and foremost benefit the broadband sector with cheaper international bandwidth. Zamtel’s expensive ADSL service is still dominating this sector, albeit at a very low level. Competition exists from several ISPs which have rolled out WiMAX wireless broadband networks.

Mobile data services using GPRS and EDGE are available but have remained expensive under the current conditions. Third generation technology rollouts are in progress, including 3.5G HSPA.

Key highlights:

Market analysis 2010;
2010 estimates for mobile and Internet market;
Benchmarking with other countries in the region in terms of GDP, mobile, fixed and Internet market penetration;
Liberalisation of VoIP and international gateways under new ICT Act;
Profiles of major players in all market sectors;
Zamtel to be privatised in 2010;
New converged licensing regime to enable more competition in all market sectors;
First ever connection to international submarine fibre made;
Additional cross-border and international submarine fibre links in 2010;
Competitive national fibre backbone rollouts;
ADSL vs. WiMAX broadband market share;
Broadband and mobile data pricing trends 2008-2009;
Zain Zambia key performance indicators 2004-2008;
Mobile ARPU 2005-2009, Zain versus MTN.Mobile penetration in Zambia and other countries in the region - June 2009
CountryMobile penetration
Botswana105%
Namibia70%
Angola45%
Tanzania33%
Zambia33%
Mozambique22%
Zimbabwe18%
Malawi16%
DRC14%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Zambia’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Regulatory environment and structural reform;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Average Revenue per User (ARPU);
Internet and broadband development and pricing;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Zambia, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

The impact of access to international submarine fibre for a landlocked country;
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;
Internet and broadband development, including 3G mobile;
Broadband and mobile data services and pricing trends;
Mobile Average Revenue per User (ARPU).

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    • Table Mobile penetration in Zambia and other countries in the region - June 2009
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics Zambia - 2010
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet provider statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2010
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2010
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • MARKET ANALYSIS 2010
    • REGIONAL BENCHMARKING
      • Table GDP per capita in Zambia and other countries in the region - 2009
      • Table Mobile penetration in Zambia and other countries in the region - June 2009
      • Table Internet user penetration in Zambia and other countries in the region - 2008
      • Table Fixed-line penetration in Zambia and other countries in the region - 2008
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT 1994
    • ICT POLICY 2007
    • NEW ICT BILL 2009
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • CAZ, ZICTA
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION IN ZAMBIA
      • International gateways
    • LICENSING
      • New unified licensing regime 2009
    • UNIVERSAL ACCESS FUND
    • INFRASTRUCTURE SHARING
    • CYBER SECURITY LEGISLATION
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS IN ZAMBIA
    • ZAMTEL
      • Privatisation
      • Fixed network infrastructure
      • Fixed-line statistics
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2010
      • CDMA2000 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Domestic satellite network
      • National fibre backbone
    • OTHER OPERATORS
  • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW
    • SUBMARINE FIBRE
  • INTERNET MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
      • Internet statistics
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 1995 - 2010
    • PUBLIC INTERNET ACCESS LOCATIONS
      • Community telecentres
    • ZAMBIA'S ISP MARKET
      • ZamNet
      • Zamtel Online
      • CopperNet Solutions
      • UUNet Zambia
      • Microlink Technologies
      • AfriConnect
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
    • ASYMMETRICAL DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (ADSL)
      • Table Zamtel DSL pricing - 2009
    • LEASED LINES
    • WIMAX
    • WIFI
  • CONVERGENCE
    • VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VOIP)
    • E-LEARNING
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW OF ZAMBIA'S MOBILE MARKET
      • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2010
      • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - September 2009
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Zain Zambia (formerly Celtel, Zamcell)
      • MTN Zambia (formerly Telecel)
      • Cell Z (Zamtel)
        • Table Mobile ARPU in Zambia - Zain/Celtel, MTN - 2005 - 2009
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Table Zain Zambia prepaid mobile data pricing - 2009
    • THIRD GENERATION (3G)
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • M-payment and m-banking
    • LOCAL HANDSET MANUFACTURING
    • SATELLITE MOBILE

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