ZAMBIA – The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has granted Beeline Telecom Limited a licence to commence mobile phone operations in the country.

Beeline Telecom, a Zambian wholly owned company, will be required to commence operation within the next six months failure to which, unless determined otherwise by the Authority, the licence will be revoked.

Currently the mobile service operators in Zambia include South African telecoms giant MTN, Airtel and local telecoms firm Zamtel.

The local company has been offered the international network and national services licences with associated resources and becomes the fourth mobile network services provider in the country.

ZCTA Director General Patrick Mutimushi, who announced the development in a statement, said the decision to introduce a fourth mobile operator was arrived at after conducting an analysis of the ICT Sector Market.

“The decision was looked at from the perspective the quality of services being provided by the incumbent licensees as well as the need to raise the levels of competition”

He added the decision was looked at from the perspective of, among others, the quality of services being provided by the incumbent licensees as well as the need to raise the levels of competition.

In September last year, the Authority invited applications for a network licence under the International Market Segment and a Service Licence under the national Market Segment with associated resources.

Mr Mutimushi said following a thorough evaluation process and Beeline, having met the minimum criteria, the Authority resolved to award the licence in question to the local company.

He added that since the cancellation of UZI Zambia’s licence in 2018 and considering the fact the challenges facing the sector have continued, the Authority had re-embarked on seeking a fourth mobile operator.

“It is this process that culminated into issuance of the licence to Beeline Telecom Limited,” Mr Mutimushi said.

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