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Zambia’s two dominant mobile operators, MTN and Zain have rejected a request from the regulator to share parts of their network infrastructure, claiming it would be difficult to maintain quality assurance.

The IDG News Service reported that at a recent meeting at the regulator’s office, MTN customer services manager Chimfwembe Mzyece said the company wants to accomplish its nationwide expansion program on its own.

Zain also shared the same opinion and despite noting the oft-cited problems in rural Africa with reliable power supplied – is convinced it can roll out its network without assistance. The company recently announced plans to spend some US$70 million on its network this year in an effort to boost its subscriber base to 2.7 million.

MD David Venn has previously warned that the high taxes on imports of network infrastructure kit, of 25% was hampering the company’s plans. The company is lobbying the government to have this tax lowered, and also on licenses for 3G services.

According to figures from the Mobile World tracker, Zain ended last year with just under 2 million customers – and a market share of nearly 78%. The country itself has a population penetration level of just 21% and two other operators, Zamtel and MTN.

Source: IT News