More Africa NewsZambia: more than a year after obtaining the license, Beeline Telecoms has still not launched its activities

July 11, 2022by myles0

Beeline Telecoms won Zambia’s fourth telecoms license in February 2021. The launch of its activities scheduled for August 2021 has been postponed to June 2022. A scenario similar to that of the previous license holder, who lost it following his failure to launch his services.

Beeline Telecoms Limited has yet to start business in Zambia more than 16 months after securing the country’s fourth mobile phone license. However, the Zambian government remains optimistic that the operator will go live soon.

Felix Mutati, Minister of Technology and Science, said on Wednesday July 6 that the government was confident that the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Regulatory Authority (ZICTA) would soon make an announcement on the date when the fourth mobile phone operator will start operations.

It was in August 2021 that Beeline Telecoms Limited was supposed to start operations in Zambia, six months after obtaining its telecom license. The company, which was having difficulty acquiring equipment, asked the regulator to extend the deadline. The new deadline has been set for June 30, 2022.

This pressure put on Beeline Telecoms by the government is a strategy put in place to avoid another disappointment like that of UZI Mobile Zambia Limited. It was this company that initially obtained Zambia’s fourth mobile license in 2018, before finally losing it in June 2020. This followed its failure to launch its services in the country, despite all the facilities granted to it by the government.

Once its commercial activities are launched, Beeline Telecoms should contribute to increased competition in the Zambian telecoms market already contested by Zamtel, MTN and Airtel. This should lead to more attractive service offers, better service to consumers, wider network coverage, as well as new revenues for the State. These are the objectives pursued by the Zambian government when it decided in 2017 to introduce a new player into the national telecom market. 

Source: Agence Ecofin

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