4G comes to Zambia

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

Zambia’s AfriConnect has become the first Internet service provider (ISP) in the country to launch a 4G network, which is says is expected to change the country’s internet landscape.

In January this year, mobile service provider Airtel launched its 3.75G data network, which then became the fastest in the country. However, now the 4G WiMAX network by AfriConnect is billed as the fastest in the country.

AfriConnect Zambia managing director Mark Bennett said at the launch in Lusaka yesterday that AfriConnect’s 4G units include routers and WiFi access point. Bennett said users can also buy dongles for the 4G network.

“They are all you need to get the internet up and running at a speed to share between all the computer users in your office or home. You will be able to buy them off the shelf in key stores in Lusaka,” said Bennett.

Bennett said at the launch that with rapidly increasing amounts of international internet connectivity coming into Zambia through fibre optic cables, new ways have to be found of getting the link to users at higher speeds.

Despite Zambia having several ISPs, AfriConnect is the only ISP in the country that has a direct link to South Africa. The link was established last year to enhance internet services and lower the high cost of internet connectivity in the country.

Yamfwa Mukanga, Zambian Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, officiated at the launch. He said said the AfriConnect 4G network would offer the best and fastest connectivity to the internet for Zambians.

Mukanga said the Zambian government was committed to working the ICT sector on pricing and reviewing taxes.

“So I look forward to continued expansion of you 4G network and lower prices with suitable modern devices. This could make a major impact upon the development of our country if we get it right,” said Mukanga.

Mukanga said the Zambian government was committed to the attainment of a knowledge economy by the year 2030. This means, Mukanga said that there should be an increase in ICT exposure in schools, training institutions and on the job training.

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