Zambia to lift cap on mobile telecomm voice service providers

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LUSAKA, June 20 (Reuters) - Zambia approved a new law
allowing more mobile phone voice service providers in Africa's
second-largest copper producer to boost competition, its
communications minister said on Tuesday.
    Zambia passed a law in 2009 restricting to three the number
of mobile phone voice operators to help grow existing companies.
    Zambia has over 12 million mobile phone service subscribers
representing a penetration rate of almost 75 percent, according
to latest government statistics.
    Communications minister Brian Mushimba said in parliament
that Zambia needed to get rid of restrictive laws to attract
investors and create more jobs.
    "Within the next 30 days a new licensing framework will be
in place and a fourth (voice) mobile phone service provider can
enter the market," Mushimba said in a statement.
    South Africa's MTN <MTNJ.J>, India'sBharti Airtel
<BRTILM.UL> Airtel and state-owned Zamtel are currently the only
mobile phone operators offering voice service in Zambia.
    A fourth mobile telecomms company Mobile Broadband Zambia,
trading as Vodafone Zambia, was issued with a licence last year
but its operations are restricted to data service.

 (Reporting by Chris Mfula; editing by Susan Thomas)


This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Economy
Referenced Symbols: MTNJ

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