Zambia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts
LTE services launched by two operators
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).
New international fibre connections lead to lower broadband prices; Libyan-owned Zamtel renationalised; Legal action against mobile networks for poor QoS; Fourth mobile licence planned; Commercial LTE services launched; MTN Zambia sells tower portfolio to IHS Holding; CEC Liquid Telecoms investing $15 million in infrastructure for 2014; Government plans to invest $24 million on rolling out 169 base stations will boost coverage in rural areas, providing services to more than 200,000 people by the end of 2014. MNOs will lease access to the new towers; Telecoms regulator disconnects 2.38 million unregistered SIM cards; Thuraya signs deal with Bharti Airtel to provide mobile satellite services; Government confirms plans to licence a fourth mobile operator in 2015.
Estimated market penetration rates in Zambia's telecoms sector end-2013 Market | Penetration rate Mobile | 91% Fixed | 0.6% Internet | 16% (Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)