CABINET has approved a new licensing framework for the telecommunication industry, with a chance for a fourth mobile operator into the sector.
Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba disclosed in an interview in Lusaka that Cabinet had approved a new licensing framework for the telecommunication industry aimed at re-alinging and promoting competition in the sector.
Mr Mushimba said his ministry had formulated a new licensing framework with ZICTA for the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and telecommunication industry in Zambia.
He said the licensing framework would realign the sector and allow more investments and job growth.
“This will also allow more competition in the sector; improve quality of service and lower costs of services in the sector.
“The new regime now allows any operator to apply for a license and allow operator of data such as Vodafone to take a new license that allows them to do voice over IP (VoIP),” he said.
The minister said essentially all ISPs now can be operators and allowed to make voice calls in a regulated and optimised market.
“As the Government, this is very exciting for us. We have cleaned up the licensing framework to unleash the potential of the industry mindful of the latest technological advancements in the sector,” Mr Mushimba said.
“We see a very competitive market now moving forward with lots of investment in the network expansion and backbones because a company can now take one license and based on their infrastructure, offer multiple products,” he said.
Mr Mushimba said the development was very good for the industry as it would bring in investments and jobs as well as taxes for the Government.
He explained that with this in place, there was a chance of a fourth mobile operator in the country.
“With this in place we shall see new jobs created and the quality of services will improve and it will introduce competition and the low costs that comes with that” Mr Mushimba said.