Report finds fault with Zambia’s communication towers

A report released by The Consumer Unity Trust Society (CUTS) has revealed that communication towers in Zambia’s rural areas do not meet technical or legal requirements. According to the Report the towers fall short of meeting the 5km macro-coverage radium requirement, as specified in the bidding document.

The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), the country’s telecom sector regulator, is currently installing 169 mobile phone communication towers nationally in a bid to connect rural areas and minimise communication problems. Over $13 million will be spent on the project that is being undertaken by China’s Huawei Technologies.

The aim of the project is boost mobile phone connectivity in rural areas with each tower expected to give macro-coverage of up to 5 kilometres in radius, in line with the terms of reference. According to the Society’s report the towers being erected do not meet the required standards, nor do those currently being operated by individual mobile phone operators. Airtel, MTN and Zamtel are the three operators servicing the Zambian telecom market.

“The findings raises questions how these installations are being monitored by ZICTA,” said the Report. To date, neither ZICTA nor Huawei has commented on the report, a source of much debate amongst local Zambians. Many are asking why the regulator has allow

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