Zamtel Mobile, the wireless arm of Zambian fixed line incumbent Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) has said it expects to double the number of operational base stations it has to 700 by the end of 2012. According to All Africa, the network development will form part of the second phase of an expansion project, the first phase of which is expected to be completed by the end of this month; by end-December 2011 Zamtel Mobile aims to have 400 base stations in service. The report cites Zamtel corporate and communications manager Kennedy Mambwe as saying: ‘We already have blanket network coverage across the country and … in the New Year, [we] are going straight ahead with phase two which should increase our sites to more than 700.’
Under phase one – which the operator said was focused on erecting and switching on 2G, 2.5G and 3G mobile sites – Zamtel Mobile has increased its number of cell sites from the 197 it had at the start of 2011. The first phase of the project has also seen the operator expand and improve its existing retail outlets. According to Mr Mambwe, Zamtel expects to have spent around USD170 million on the initial round of improvements.