India’s Bharti Airtel has revealed it expects to invest around USD150 million in Zambia, with the bulk of the funds being put towards enhancing both 2G and 3G coverage across the country. According to the Lusaka Times, Bharti, which earlier this month finalised its USD10.7 billion deal to acquire the majority of Kuwait-based Zain’s African operations, has said that the investment will be made over a two- to three-year period. In addition, Manoj Kohli, Bharti Airtel International’s CEO, said that the company would look to make 3G services more affordable through measures such as tariff reduction, with such price changes likely to be introduced in the next six months.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zain Zambia, which will eventually be rebranded with the Airtel moniker, is the country’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers. At end-March 2010 the cellco had a subscriber base of 3.12 million, representing a market share of 68.8%.