Industry reports have indicated that MTN Zambia has secured a US$13.5 million deal to provide additional spectrum in the country.
According to these industry reports, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) awarded the country’s largest operator, MTN Zambia, a deal to provide additional spectrum in a quest to improve the quality of its voice and data services. The supplementary spectrum will reinforce the 800MHz frequency band of the operator’s existing spectrum resources and utilisation.
A statement released by ZICTA read that the company has proposed introducing a multimedia subsystem (IMS) in the core network to support the intended roll-out of Voice Over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE). The IMS is a standard high-speed wireless communication that can offer better experience quality for customers.
Ngabo Nankonde, ZICTA’s Corporate Communications Manager, said VoLTE has superior quality service that will enable MTN Zambia to leverage additional resources to extend its range and depth 4G coverage. Nankonde also highlighted that the spectrum award is a second 800MHz band contract in three months. The first deal was given to Airtel Networks Zambia Plc in December 2020. She added, “The authority would like to urge MTN Zambia Limited and Airtel Networks Plc Zambia to expedite the process of enhancing the quality of their services by efficiently utilising the newly acquired spectrum resources”.
ZICTA’s Director-General, Patrick Mutimunshi, observed degradation in service quality as the cause of connection challenges. He then continued to say; network congestion can be resolved by increasing the amount of radio spectrum bandwidth assigned to service providers.
ZICTA’s ICT market report for the year 2020 shows that there has been an increase in mobile phone subscriptions, which has jumped from 17.2 million in 2019 to 19.1 million in 2020, representing a penetration rate of 106.81%.