The ICT sector saw growth following the establishment of a National ICT policy for regulating the telecom sector in Zambia. The telecom sector comprises public switched telephone network (PSTN), international voice, local loop, national voice, mobile, private data networks, and internet operators. PSTN and international voice are monopolistic sub-sectors, however the national voice, local loop, mobile internet, and private data networks are competitive sectors. The Zambian government supports and encourages networking of electronic services and applications by promoting eCommerce, eAgriculture, eHealth, and eEducation and trade promotion programs for goods and services. The government is working to establish additional government online services.
The government is currently focused on upgrading 3G/4G platforms nationwide, which currently reaches 80 percent of the population, but only 60 percent of the country geographically. In Q1 2021, MTN Zambia activated the 800Mhz 4G spectrum to expand coverage and build out VoLTE, which was recently released by Zambia’s industry regulator ZICTA. In March 2022, MTN indicated it was testing 5G technology for future expansion in Zambia.
Opportunities include provision of retail fiber optic, mobile, and internet service providers, software development, and ICT parks. In Q1 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) and ZICTA awarded Beeline Telecoms Limited an International Network and National Service License to become the fourth mobile operator in Zambia, in hopes of further expanding and promoting healthy competition within the telecommunication sector. Beeline was supposed to be operational by the end of 2021, but as of July 2022 they have yet to commence operations and may face revocation of its license.
Key government and regulatory agencies:
Ministry Science and Technology
Los Ageles Boulevard
Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA)
P. O. Box 36871
Tel: +260 211 246 702 | +260 211 244 424