Govt threatens to bring in 4th mobile phone service provider

GOVERNMNET says it will have no other option but to bring in the fourth mobile service provider if the existing firms will not improve on their service delivery to its customers across Zambia.

Special assistant to the President for project implementation Lucky Mulusa said this after a meeting with the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and the three mobile service providers at State House yesterday.

Mr. Mulusa said while it was not the intention of Government to bring in the fourth mobile service provider, he warned that if the three companies will continue to provide unsatisfactory services, Government would then consider bringing another firm to enhance quality mobile service provision in the country.

He however said that Government would continue to dialogue with the three companies to ensure that they continued investing in their business to meet the ever-increasing demand for their services.

“We had a very successful meeting with the three mobile service providers to try and see how best they can effectively provide quality services to the people because there have been numerous complaints and that is why it is vital that we continue to dialogue with each other to ensure that these challenges are addressed,” Mr. Mulusa said. He explained that it was important for the three companies to ensure that all parts of Zambia were serviced adequately as that would enhance quality service delivery in other sectors as well.

“I am glad that one of these mobile service providers is still planning to expand its coverage area and I think this is good development because this will also improve service delivery even in other sectors such as health,

“ There are certain times, especially in rural areas where people want to call for an ambulance to get a patient to the hospital or clinic but there is no network and as a result health service delivery also becomes  a challenge,” he said.

And ZICTA Director General Margaret Mudenda observed that it was important for the three mobile service providers to live up to their customers’ expectations by ensuring that they got value for their money.

Ms. Mudenda said ZICTA would continue to monitor the operations of the three firms to ensure that they complied with the regulations.

Meanwhile Airtel Managing Director Peter Correira said his company would continue to invest in its system to ensure that it met the demand of its customers. “Airtel will continue to invest in its system to ensure that quality is enhanced. We have just pumped in US$ 56 million which we have committed towards upgrading our systems in order to improve service delivery and expand our coverage,” Mr. Correira said.