Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) has inked a deal with Japan-based NEC Corporation under which they will partner on the construction of a new digital microwave radio transmission network. With the two companies saying the new infrastructure will boost mobile coverage and capacity for citizens, enterprises and tourists across the country, the turnkey deal includes the supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of NEC’s microwave transmission network equipment. NEC has also said it will upgrade Zamtel’s existing backbone and access systems, and commission new links to connect its macro base stations and core network wirelessly. The new digital microwave backbone and access project will include the installation of 2Gbps, 600Mbps, 300Mbps and 150Mbps backbone and access networks based on native Ethernet microwave radio network technologies, and Zamtel has said that once completed the investment will lead to the realisation of a state-of-the-art national IP microwave backbone and access network. Work on the project is expected to be completed within a year at an estimated cost of USD18.329 million.
With the investment in its transmission infrastructure aimed at ensuring the company can meet both current and future demand for mobile data services, Zamtel’s CEO Dr Mupanga Mwanakatwe was cited as saying: ‘This partnership will see NEC design, manufacture, supply, deliver, install, test, migrate and commission a native Ethernet microwave backbone and access radios specifically tailored to Zamtel’s requirements.’