Zamtel has announced the launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based 4G mobile services in Kitwe, with the operator revealing it has set up a walk-in 4G Live Experiential Centre at its offices in the city so that customers can see the technology in action. According to a press release, the network development was carried out in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei, and Zamtel noted that the deployment of LTE meant that it would be able to offer theoretical downlink speeds of more than 50Mbps to customers. No information regarding future network expansion was mentioned, however.
Commenting on the initial rollout, Zamtel’s chief executive officer Dr. Mupanga Mwanakatwe was cited as saying: ‘The decision to launch this 4G service provides an added impetus to our vision and quest to make a positive and meaningful impact in the lives of Zambians from all walks of life and in all parts of the nation.’ Meanwhile, Spawn Fan, Huawei’s Managing Director in-charge of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, noted: ‘As Zamtel’s long-term partner, as well as one of the leaders in ICT global industry, Huawei is delighted to see the significant development of Zamtel in terms of both technologies and business. We are certain that the approach to adopt LTE, which is the latest mobile technology, highlights Zamtel’s commitment to provide more multimedia and better services to all Zambians.’
The news of Zamtel’s introduction of commercial 4G services comes hot on the heels of reports last week that rival MTN Zambia had become the first to launch LTE to consumers. As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MTN Zambia inaugurated its 4G network in selected locations in Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone, having been conducting tests of the technology since August 2013.