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By JOHN SAKALA
Zamtel this week commissioned two new network towers in Kaputa and Nchelenge in Northern and Luapula Provinces respectively as it strives to grow its footprint.
The state owned Telecommunications Company has so far erected seven new towers in Kaputa and 6 new ones in Nchelenge from the 783 new towers constructed across the country.
Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Sydney Mupeta announced that the new towers are part of the GRZ Communication Tower Project Phase II which Zamtel has been implementing since late 2017.
Mr Mupeta said the project which is nearing completion has significantly transformed the telecommunications landscape in Zambia especially in rural areas.
He was speaking this week when Zamtel commissioned two communication towers in Kaputa and Nchelenge in Northern and Luapula Provinces respectively.
“We are glad to report that so far, this project has delivered over 783 new sites with Northern Province accounting for 127 sites and Kaputa District receiving 7 new towers. This project has been running since late 2017 and as it nears completion, we are confident that we will deliver the remaining few sites this year which is well within the project schedule,” Mr Mupeta said.
He said in Luapula Province, Zamtel has so far rolled out 101 new communications sites with Nchelenge alone receiving six sites at Nshinda Primary, Kashikishi, Mwatishi, Nchelenge, and Mantapala Refugee Camp, including one at Kabuta.
“We believe that once this project is fully completed, the majority of Zambians will have a whole different experience with mobile communication as the project is targeting over 90% mobile network coverage penetration across the Country,” he said.
Mr Mupeta said Zamtel will continue implementing strategies that will fully reposition the business.
And speaking earlier, Transport and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya said government under President Edgar Lungu has made tremendous strides in ensuring the development of an effective and reliable telecommunication network through supporting the implementation of various telecommunication projects.
“The project which began in 2017 is aimed at constructing and upgrading a total of 1009 communication towers as well as Zamtel’s core radio transmission network infrastructure at a total cost of US$280. I am reliably informed that 783 towers have so far been constructed and are on air. This is commendable work on the part of Zamtel who are the project managers as well as strategic partners with government in the development of the communications sector,” said Mr. Kafwaya.
Mr. Kafwaya and the Zamtel delegation also took time to pay courtesy calls on Senior Chief Mununga’s Palace in Nchelenge and Chieftainess Kaputa’s Palace in Kaputa.