- The Zambian government has announced plans to build 60 4G mobile towers to improve Internet connectivity in rural areas, two months after revealing plans to establish digital centres where citizens can access free Internet service.
- Speaking in the Mushindamo district of North Western Province during the commissioning of a 4G network tower installed by MTN Zambia, the Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati, emphasised the government's commitment to prioritising rural connectivity in the country to provide equal access to opportunities for Zambians in 2024.
- According to the Minister, the government will erect 60 new and upgraded mobile network towers connected in North Western Province for improved connectivity in rural areas.
With a population of over 20 million, Zambia has an Internet penetration rate of 21.2%, representing 4.3 million Internet users.
The Minister stated that the government will build 19 new towers in the northwest province alone to provide convenient access to voice and data networks, and it will upgrade all 2G connectivity to 4G.
Mutati highlighted that partnerships with private sectors, such as MTN Zambia, are pivotal to the country’s digital transformation, disclosing that MTN Zambia will upgrade 50 of its network towers from 2G and 3G to 4G.
While he acknowledged that the Mushindamo district is the least connected to mobile networks in the province, he noted that it will extend the development to others.
MTN Zambia’s Chief Executive Officer, Abbad Reda, stated that the mobile network has deployed 110 rural sites and upgraded 18 universal sites from 2G to 3G technology.
In November 2022, MTN Zambia launched its 5G service, becoming the first telco to offer it commercially.
Over the years, Zambia has demonstrated a commitment to digital transformation. Just two months ago, the government announced plans to establish Community Digital Transformation Centres to improve its digital ecosystem and offer free internet access to citizens.
In December 2023, the government also announced that members of Zambia's parliament will each receive a Starlink kit for their respective constituencies, adding it will bear the financial responsibilities for the first year.