Breaking boundaries is all we want to see in the telecommunications sector in Zambia and the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority took it upon themselves to make this happen and erect 169 cell towers in rural areas around Zambia.
So far 147 cell towers have been set up while the remaining 22 are undergoing works to be linked to the airwaves, according to a statement by Christabel Simbulo, ZICTA assistant Public Relations Officer.
We’ve been excited about this cell tower project after the poor services that Zambia currently faces with mobile communication. The complaints from customers are on a peak almost all the time. Just go to the ‘comments’ section of any mobile operator’s social media page.
The additional cell towers will close the gap between the rural and urban areas that usually face problems connecting to each other. The possibilities of what this could result in are endless. For example, business owners now won’t have to travel all the way to a particular rural area to get what they need, as previously was the case because they could not call the supplier who was in area without mobile networks available.
The 3 major operators will now be able to ‘rent’ the towers to provide accessibility to new subscribers in those areas. ZICTA understands that it’s costly for the operators to set up and maintain cell towers so they put these new ones up themselves, to cut costs for mobile operators, cost cuts that should eventually trickle down to the subscriber so we expect reduced rates on data and other mobile services. All that mobile operators will have to do is pay a fee to ZICTA to operate from these towers.
Last year they were taken to court for their poor services by ZICTA, the communications authority, and told to improve what they offer to customers. We’re spending money and not getting value for it. It’s pretty sad.
To new towers and better services, that’s what we hope for. We also would like to see the maintenance on these towers done well enough to provide the most efficient services the country has ever seen.