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MTN, Bharti dominate in Zambia

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

An assessment by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) has revealed that South Africa’s MTN and India’s Bharti Airtel are dominant players in the country’s mobile phone sector.

According to the assessment by ZICTA, the country’s telecom sector regulator, Airtel Zambia and MTN Zambia hold dominant positions in various relevant markets for the period January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012.

Airtel Zambia and MTN Zambia, according to ZICTA, are dominant in local mobile voice, mobile termination and SMS (short messaging service) while Zamtel joins them in the mobile and SMS termination.

Airtel Zambia and MTN Zambia remain dominant in the multimedia messaging service and mobile internet while Zamtel remain a monopoly in fixed voice and fixed termination.

In data transmission links and internet wholesale, Zesco, CEC liquid, a subsidiary of the Copperbelt Energy Corporation, and Zamtel remain dominant players.

"Operators declared as having dominant position in these markets are expected to submit to ZICTA for its prior approval, all tariffs they intend to charge to the public for each service together with a detailed justification for tariff adjustment and never apply tariffs without the approval by ZICTA," ZICTA public relations manager Ngabo Nankonde to the private Post Newspaper.

In the case of operators determined by the Authority as not holding dominant market positions, Nankonde said ZICTA intends to apply tariff forbearance in relation to their supply of ICT products and services.

Nankonde stated that operators deemed to hold significant market power in a particular market had been perceived to sometimes abuse their dominant market position leading to constraints when it comes to the competitive provision of ICT products and services to consumers.

The determination of operators with significant market power, Nankonde said is therefore meant to ensure that competition remedial measures are put in place in markets that lack effective competition with a view of protecting consumers in matters of pricing, choice and, quality of service provision.

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