Zamtel says its $280 million investment in upgrading its network backbone is on course. Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Sydney Mupeta revealed that the network upgrade will see Zamtel acquire the best network coverage that the country has ever seen.
Mr Mupeta said the investment will give Zamtel 4.5 G with speeds of up to 240 Mbps for its fixed customers and 4G for its mobile based customers and improved customer service. The Zamtel CEO was speaking on Tuesday during a joint media briefing with Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda at which Zamtel announced payment towards its historical debt to ZRA.
“The future of Zamtel is very bright, we are on course with our $280 million investment that will give us the best network coverage that the country has ever seen. We have started implementing our first 100 sites out of the 1,009 sites. This will give Zamtel 4.5G with speeds of up to 240 Mbps for our fixed customers, 4G for our mobile customers, best-in- class customer experience and best-in- class quality of service,” Mr Mupeta said.
“We recently crossed the 2 million subscriber mark and we are fully on schedule to close the year at around 2.5 million.”
Zamtel has also announced that it has so far paid a total of K 93.3 million in 2017 to dismantle both historical and current liabilities owed to the Zambia Revenue Authority. Of the figure, K61 million was for historical while K32.3 million has been paid towards the current tax liability.
Recently, Zamtel made a K10.7 million payment to the ZRA towards dismantling the tax debt and a further K44 million by way of debt-swap with the Government. On Monday (30th October 2017), Zamtel made another K12 million towards clearing its historical debt liability.
Mr. Mupeta said the development is significant as it goes to reaffirm the company’s commitment to liquidating its historical obligations. Mr Mupeta further said that the payment is testament of Zamtel’s commitment to
cleaning up its tax books with the tax authority.
“As a State Owned Enterprise, we are fully aware of the need for tax payers like ourselves to be tax compliant. These are the same funds that are channeled towards service delivery for the public good and paying for drugs in hospitals and equipping our schools,” Mr Mupeta said.
Mr Mupeta added that the payment of historical debt also symbolizes the growth trajectory that Zamtel is experiencing. He emphasized that the bulk of the tax debt being cleared is very historical adding that
Zamtel is committed to ensuring that this tax burden is completely dismantled.
And ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda commended Zamtel for its commitment to be tax compliant by making timely payments towards clearing the historical debt.
Mr Chanda emphasized that it is commendable that Zamtel is now current in its tax payment and urged other state owned companies to emulate the telecoms firm. He said Zamtel is one of the companies that took advantage of the ZRA tax amnesty which he said has greatly enhanced tax collection for the authority.