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By Michael Malakata , IDG News Service , 04/02/2008

The Zambia Telecommunications company (Zamtel) has completed the construction of a fiber-optic network that will be connected to countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Company Managing Director Simon Tembo said the construction of the Lusaka Metropolitan Optic Fibre Cable has been completed and will provide broadband connectivity services in Zambia and the region.
The cable, built for US$48 million, will be connected to international cables running under the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Sudan and Europe.

Zamtel is a government-run telco that operates a sister mobile communications company, Cellz.

The SADC region has 14 countries including Angola, Malawi, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia.

“The cable will provide business houses, government ministries and embassies with broadband connectivity for broadband services,” Tembo said Tuesday.

The cable is expected to bring down the cost of telecommunications in Zambia and regional countries, Tembo said, and will be operational by the end of this month.

The country’s Copperbelt Province Minister Mwansa Mbulakulima said the Democratic Republic of Congo government is already planning to link Zamtel’s cable to the Vodacom telecommunications network in the nation.