Zambian authorities considering licensing another MNO after UZI fails to launch

15 Jun 2020

Zambia is said to be looking for a new mobile network operator (MNO) to compete with the nation’s incumbent cellcos, after UZI Zambia Mobile – which acquired a concession to operate in the African country back in February 2018 – failed to make it to market.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in February this year it was revealed that UZI’s ‘investment’ licence had been extended and that it had been given until May 2020 to secure the funding it needed to underpin a commercial launch. The announcement came after Misheck Lungu, permanent secretary at Zambia’s Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC), disclosed to local media that a lack of resources had delayed the MNO’s commercial launch and that it was looking to ensure its investment was not interrupted once it became operational. UZI’s launch failed to come to fruition, however, prompting the authorities to consider their next move. Here, Bloomberg cites Lungu as saying: ‘We respect the rule of law and that’s why we followed the tender process to the letter … Now that UZI has not come, we are going back to plan [again].’