Telecommunications Company Limited (Zamtel) says it will provide high-speed 3G and 4G internet connectivity and uninterrupted phone service during and after the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in August this year.
Zamtel managing director Mupanga Mwanakatwe told Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo and Minister of Works, Supply, Transport and Communication Christopher Yaluma in Livingstone recently that the project is expected to be completed in June.
“We were not included in the planning for the general assembly. This is just our own initiative. We had to divert part of the equipment we imported from China and deploy it in Livingstone so that the delegates have access to reliable communication during the conference,” Mr Mwanakatwe said.
He was speaking at the David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa when Ms Masebo and Mr Yaluma met representatives of Zamtel, MTN and Airtel to discuss the need for reliable communication during the UNWTO general assembly.
Mr Mwanakatwe said Zamtel has done its homework and that all the equipment and materials are already in the tourist capital.
And Zamtel chief technical officer Sydney Mupeta said the company will provide blanket high-speed connectivity coverage for the entire Livingstone and surrounding areas, including Chief Mukuni’s village in Kazungula district during and after the general assembly.
Mr Mupeta said Livingstone will have 21 high-speed 3G and 2GLTE sites by June 7, 2013 and that Zamtel is already laying optic fibre cables to cover the entire tourist capital.
He said the existing 11 2G low-capacity sites are being swapped with new high-capacity 3G and 2G LTE ready sites while 10 additional high-speed sites will also be installed around the city to ensure enhanced coverage and high quality service.
“Following the above expansion and upgrade, delegates and customers will enjoy high-speed access to 3G services such as video streaming and fast data sharing.
“Zamtel has applied to ZICTA [Zambia Information and Communication Technology Agency] for the allocation of LTE [4G] frequencies which, if granted, would enable us to showcase super high-speed data, 150mbps to the conference delegates,” Mr Mupeta said.
He said the installation of radio equipment and optic fibre network are expected to be completed by May 29 and June 7, 2013, respectively.
And Mr Yaluma, who visited three of the 3G sites with Ms Masebo, assured the company that he will direct ZICTA to expediently the processing of its application for 4G frequencies.
He commended Zamtel for being proactive and for embarking on the project that will revolutionalise communication in Zambia.
Ms Masebo also expressed happiness at Zamtel’s efforts aimed at ensuring a successful co-hosting of the UNWTO general assembly.
Zambia and Zimbabwe will co-host the world’s largest tourism conference from August 24 to 29, 2013 in Livingstone and Victoria Falls Town, respectively.