MTN Zambia Launches 5G

After South Africa and Nigeria, Zambia has become the third market where MTN has launched 5G commercially. During a ceremony on 24 November 2022, MTN Zambia CEO Bart Hofker stated that 5G signal will initially cover most of the major cities of Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola as well as certain area of Chingola, Solwezi and Kalumbila. For this first phase, 15% of the population will be covered by the 5G network.

For the occasion, MTN Group Chairman Mcebisi Jonas travelled to Lusaka and underlined the commitment of his company to contribute to the Digital Economy of Zambia. On the other hand, MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita highlighted that 5G is not just about mobile ultra-fast broadband but has the potential to unlock a host of innovative services such as IoT in the mining sector. The Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema as well as several ministers were present during the ceremony.

Based on figures from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), MTN has a 36.4% market share behind the leader Airtel’s 44.2% while Zamtel is third at 18.2% share. Now, MTN has taken the technological lead by deploying the first 5G service in Zambia.

The commercial launch follows a pilot phase which started in January 2022 in partnership with equipment vendor Huawei and the support of the Zambian government. This project is an integral part of the multinational telco strategy, codenamed “Ambition 2025”, which ambitions to propel MTN as the top communications service provider across Africa. In addition, it is in line with the vision of the Government of Zambia to promote #DigitalTransformation as 5G is expected to be a driver for innovation and entrepreneurship.

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