State owned telecommunications company Zamtel says 84 of its 110 new transmission sites countrywide are ready to be commissioned in the first phase of its network expansion programme.
Zamtel is investing US$280 million in network expansion and upgrade which will see an additional 1,009 new transmission sites erected.
Some of the sites that are ready to go live include those in Madzimoyo in Chipata, Kafumbwe area in Katete and Chibundu Village near the Mozambican border in Sinda.
Company Corporate Communications Manager Kennedy Mambwe told journalists on a tour of the new sites in Eastern Province that the 84 sites are all high capacity and 4.5 G enabled.
Mr Mambwe explained that Eastern Province has been allocated 12 of the 84 sites as part of Zamtel’s drive to continue investing in network expansion.
He said investment in network infrastructure is crucial especially that Chipata has been given the status of a City.
Mr Mambwe said investment in network expansion will result in Zamtel achieving blanket coverage across the country.
He said there will be no area of the country that will be left uncovered once the network expansion is completed.
“What we are doing now at Zamtel is a game changer. This will transform the telecommunications experience for our customers. The kind of investment we are making in the network will see a change in network performance and improved data speeds by next year,” Mr Mambwe said.
He added, “Chipata is a new city and a getaway to Malawi and there is a lot of trade going on between Zambia and its neighbours on the eastern side. Areas such as Katete and Sinda are also huge producers of agricultural products such as groundnuts and Maize and improved communication means that the farmers will have access to markets and pricing information on their fingertips.”
Mr Mambwe stated that the era of local people having to climb trees and mountains to access network is ending since most of the sites to be erected are located in remote parts of the country.