Airtel Zambia’s rural investment pays off

With an influx of new rural subscribers over the past year, Airtel Zambia reported that it ended 2012 with over 4.6 million subscribers.


Driven by an influx of new rural subscribers, Airtel Zambia's subscriber base has reportedly hit the 4.5 million mark. (Image: File)

The company’s head of corporate communications and government relations Chabuka Kawesha confirmed that a large proportion of new subscribers have emerged within rural areas.

He said in an interview with Times of Zambia that the telecom operator had “expanded the network in more than 140 under-served areas, which three years ago did not have any mobile coverage.”

Kawesha praised the country’s regulator, the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and the Ministries of Finance and Commerce, Trade and Industry for “facilitating the roll-out plan and providing incentives for the sector during the year.”

Zambia has seen massive mobile phone growth in the past two years, driven by increased interest of companies in rural infrastructure development and its role in developing all segments of society. 

“The number of sites ended the year at 1,100, with more sites yet to be commissioned this year,” Kawesha continued, adding that Airtel’s mobile money product “will soon reach a landmark one million customers since its introduction on the market two years ago.”

Mohammed Awad