African telecoms refuse to share infrastructure
MTN and Zain Zambia have refused to share infrastructure in a quest to expand to rural areas of Zambia, claiming it would be difficult to maintain quality assurance.
The Communications Authority of Zambia (CAZ) has been urging the companies to share infrastructure in order to quicken the rural expansion programs.
Optimization for Disaster Recovery During a meeting organized by CAZ on the quality of service in the ICT sector last week, MTN customer services manager Chimfwembe Mzyece said the company is ready to accomplish its nationwide expansion program on its own.
Zain Zambia also stands ready to expand on its own and not through shared infrastructure, said company public relations manager Bridget Nundwe.
"It is quite taxing for Zain to take mobile services to rural areas due to the power shortage that the country is experiencing," Nundwe said. "However, Zain shares the same view with MTN on the sharing of infrastructure."
Zain has been pushing the Zambian government to provide tax incentives for expansion to rural areas, claiming that expansion is not worth the high cost of operations.
CAZ has no mandate to compel mobile service providers in the country to share infrastructure in their expansion programs but can lobby the government to provide incentives to mobile companies willing to carry out such expansions.
The Zambian government, through CAZ, has set aside almost US$4 million for ICT development aimed at connecting all remote areas to mobile communication.