Airtel closes 2012 in firm position

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

Airtel Zambia, the country’s largest mobile operator, said it closed the year 2012 in a firm position with more than 4.6 million subscribers on the network.

Head of corporate communication and government relations Chabuka Kawesha said the contribution of most subscribers were from rural areas.

“As we enter 2013, we would like to applaud customers and the nation for the overwhelming response by virtue of being the biggest mobile service provider. We closed the year 2012 on a firm position with more than 4.6 million subscribers and the contribution of rural Zambia cannot be taken away from this number,” Kawesha told the local Times of Zambia newspaper.

Kawesha said the firm is impressed to have witnessed the expansion of the network in more than 140 underserved areas that three years ago did not have any dream of mobile coverage.

He praised the cooperation of the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and ministries of Finance and Commerce, Trade and Industry in facilitating the rollout plan and in providing incentives for the sector during the year.  

Kawesha also said a number of sites closed the year at 1,100 with more sites yet to be commissioned this year.

He said key products such as the Airtel Mobile Money received overwhelming response from clients, saying this has enabled the firm to enter into a number of various bilateral agreements with organisations such as MultiChoice, water utility firms and several commercial banks for transactions and payments.

Kawesha said the mobile money product will soon reach a landmark one million customers since its introduction on the market two years ago.

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