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Sharp rise in mobile internet users in Zambia

Sharp rise in mobile internet users in Zambia

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has reported a sharp rise in the number of mobile internet users.

According to the latest statistics available from the Regulator, this number has increased by approximately 2 million to reach close to 10 million people from 7,910,995 in just over three months.

The increase is attributed to, among other things, improved data networks, affordable data services and the expansion of networks by operators who are aggressively competing for customers.

The Minister of Communications and Transport Dr Brian Mushimba said people are now taking advantage of 4G roll out by operators MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia and Zamtel, and are experiencing improved internet speeds.

Mushimba assured the market of the government's commitment to ensuring access to both internet and mobile phone connectivity, and said he has directed state-owned Zamtel to fast-track the rollout of 4G nationally.

"Every citizen, regardless of which part of the country he or she comes from, is entitled to voice calls and better internet connectivity," said Mushimba.

Zamtel CEO Victor Mupeta said the company has embarked on an expansion drive that will see 700 communication towers erected by the end of 2019.

Mupeta said the new sites will be mainly located in under-served rural areas. "Internet connectivity has become more of a necessity than luxury. We are now in an era where mobile device users are constantly using their gadgets to connect to the internet and stay online for very long periods of time navigating different apps."