By Nawa Mutumweno – Airtel has set up over 150 base stations across the country in the last three months and would shortly roll out another 100 masts as part of the $150 million investment committed to network expansion.
According to Airtel Zambia chief executive Fayaz King, the country’s leading mobile telecommunications firm is poised to grow from the current 68% coverage to about 80% by the end of the year.
“We have already set up 150 sites in the country, 100 more will be rolled out by the end of March,” Mr King pointed out.
The company has embarked on a massive roll-out campaign of innovative products including the Freedom tariff plan launched recently which introduces reduced billing and more time spent on the call.
The Freedom Tariff Plan is a flat rate which would see subscribers pay ZMK17 per second for the first minute within or across network with the charge reducing to ZMK13 per second on a call to another Airtel number whether during peak of off peak.
“The launch of this product is a result of Airtel’s consistent focus on the fundamental elements of superior technology content, service, reach and availability at affordable prices. Affordability is one of the pillars in this exciting journey to becoming the most loved brand by 2015,” he added.
The company wanted to ensure that all districts in the country have affordable communication, targeting 75% of the population to be on the Airtel network by the end of the year. Airtel would continue to focus on affordability to ensure more people access the network.
The growth of any economy is driven by an effective telecommunication sector and Airtel is well positioned to assist spur Zambia’s economic growth through the provision of affordable services.
And company marketing director Navdtep Kapor said there was a need for tailor-made products for rural areas, adding that the rural market remained critical to the growth of the telecommunications sector.