LAP Green Limited, which in June 2010 had a USD257 million bid accepted for a 75% stake in Zambia’s fixed line incumbent Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel), aims to enable some 6,000 households in Lusaka to receive broadband services next week. According to the Lusaka Times, the telco expects to complete the first phase of its Next Generation Network (NGN) rollout in the city next week, with some 96 sites having been installed so far, while the whole network will be finished by the end of February; over the course of the next 30 months 450 sites will be installed nationwide. It estimates that it has spent around USD23 million on the upgrades so far.
Zamtel has embarked on a project that involves decommissioning all of its old analogue exchanges and replacing them with digital equivalents, a change the telco claims will enable customers to receive services such as affordable broadband, and audio and videoconferencing. Zamtel’s corporate communications senior manager Kennedy Mambwe said of the company’s plans: ‘We want to upgrade all infrastructure and make sure that every household can have broadband internet speed. We want to push internet penetration rates since they are significantly low and ensure that places with landline numbers starting with 22, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29 numbers have access to the network.’