Commission calls for separation of Zamtel operations

9 Mar 2004

Zambia’s competition commission, the ZCC, has called for the legal separation of Cell Z from the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel), to address concerns over a lack of competition within the industry. The ZCC’s executive director George Lipimile called for Cell Z to be incorporated as a stand alone entity to give it freedom to explore a possible joint venture arrangement with Vodacom South Africa, or another leading regional wireless player. Lipimile added that independence would enable Cell Z to raise its own capital, while de-linking the cellco from its fixed line parent would eliminate the problem of spectrum allocation which he said was barring the Communications Authority (CA) from effectively regulating the sector. Zamtel and Cell Z have been the subject of complaints of anti-competitive tendencies, which have been referred to the industry’s watchdog.