Vodafone Group is set to bid for a mobile phone licence in Zambia as the company looks to expand its operations in the country and step up competition with MTN and Airtel.
According to Bloomberg sources, Vodafone wants to add voice services to its data offering, with its business in the country currently run by local partner Afrimax.
Vodafone is yet to make its intentions public, but the government gave the Zambian telecoms regulator, ZICTA, the green light to begin the process of issuing a fourth mobile licence in the country and potentially introduce a new competitor.
MTN currently leads with a market share of more than 48 per cent, ahead of India’s Airtel and state-owned operator Zamtel.
Citing transport and communications minister Brian Mushimba, Bloomberg reported the new operator could be in place within a year.
Vodafone Zambia spokesman Mukuka Mulenga said the company would make “a comprehensive statement” at “an appropriate and opportune time”.
Indeed, an auction for a fourth licence in the country represents an opportunity for an international player to enter a new market in Africa without making an acquisition. Zambia had 12.4 million mobile subscribers in Q2 2017, according to official figures from ZICTA, with a penetration rate of 75.8 per cent.
Vodafone has a large presence in Africa through its Vodacom subsidiary, while it remains a standalone business in Ghana.
Afrimax also provides data services in Cameroon in addition to Zambia.
Courtesy: mobileworldlive.comhappy wheels