Business

Airtel invests over $100m in expansion plan

By KALONDE NYATI
AIRTEL Zambia has invested US$142 million in network expansion as the mobile service provider aspires to enhance customer service.
Airtel Zambia managing director Charity Lumpa said this year, the company invested US$80 million in the expansion of the network and an additional US$62 million to manage the growth.
Ms Lumpa said this on Saturday evening during the launch of phase two of Airtel premier club, a programme designed for high value customers.
The premium club includes personalised service, which will enable customers have closer engagement with the company’s directors and managers.
The premier club will also enable members access over 600 international airport lounges regardless of the airline class of travel and access to premier lounges in the Airtel service centres.
Premier club members will also get discounts from providers of various goods and services.
Ms Lumpa said Airtel remains committed to improve customer service through various initiatives.
“Our network and data services have been a pain. Our roaming experience has had its challenges from pricing to connectivity. We have not been responsible in instances to attend to queries and complaints [and] the launch of [premier] is one step of addressing some of these issues,” she said.
At the same occasion, Bank of Zambia (BoZ) deputy governor Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula urged mobile service providers to double their efforts in enhancing financial inclusion through mobile money services.
“BoZ has one of its strategic objectives of promoting financial inclusion and would like to urge Airtel through its subsidiary Airtel Money Zambia Limited and other players in this space to double up their efforts to ensure that the up-take of mobile money services reaches all corners of this nation,” she said.
Dr Kankasa-Mabula said the central bank would partner with mobile service providers to ensure that mobile money services become the main tools to promote financial inclusion.
She said as the country needs to stimulate efforts that will enable the country develop a reliable telecommunications sector that will support effective financial services as Zambia turns 50.
“At 50 years, we need to take our stand on the global stage and be in a hurry to galvanise efforts behind the ICT sector as a driver of wealth creation from a personal and public perspective. To achieve this, we need a reliable and secure telecommunications infrastructure that provides a back-bone for financial sector transactions and product consumption,” she said.
Dr Kankasa-Mabula also said information communication technology-based knowledge and products would contribute to national development through agriculture, health and education.

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