ZAMBIA has witnessed remarkable increase in the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) in the past decade.Â It is a well-known fact that ICTs, commonly referred to as technologies, are not only used to handle information, but to assist in the communication of that information.
This increase in the use of ICTs can be attributed to the advent of smart phones, iPads and laptops with wireless connectivity, and the increase in coverage throughout the country by mobile operators and internet service providers. The use of such technologies has also brought about remarkable ease in the way information is accessed and more so, the way products and services are delivered to ICT consumers and other stakeholders, regardless of their geographical location.
The vision of the Zambia Information Communication and Telecommunication Authority (ZICTA) is to â€œbe the catalyst of a better Zambia, transformed through the use of ICTs in all sectors of the economyâ€.
In line with its vision and the immediate recognition to enhance service delivery through the use of ICTs, ZICTA on December 2, 2014, officially launched the online licensing systems. The three online systems which were launched are;
1. Spectrum Management System (for radio spectrum license)
2. Numbering and Naming (for short codes )
3. Dealers Registration and Type Approval licensing system
The launched online systems are aimed at meeting the increasing expectations by ICT consumers for efficient and effective service delivery. Also, the advent of electronic communication devices and the infrastructure to support this communication means that the alternative means of reaching and servicing ICT consumers have to be adopted.Â The Authority has immediate recognition of such need, hence the launch of these online systems.
Spectrum Management System (for Radio Spectrum license)
This online system enables the public to apply for spectrum licences including, satellite services such as VSAT licence, land/ mobile, eg walk-talkie, aeronautical license fixed link. Also known as aircraft licence, television and sound broadcasting license, cellular mobile, microwave spectrum radio licence (this is aimed for mobile operators and Internet providers).
Numbering and Naming (for short codes)
The system allows the online application of finite resource such as short codes. A short code is a number to which an SMS (short message service) or voice message can be sent. A short code is fewer in digits than a 10-digit telephone number. For example, a short code could be ZICTAâ€™s toll-free consumer call centre number – 7070. A short code may be specific to one mobile operator or â€œcommonâ€ and supported by all major mobile operators. An example for short code would be 113 to recharge or 114 for checking the balance. These short codes are common to all mobile operators in Zambia.
Dealers Registration and Type Approval licensing system
This System allows the public to apply for dealersâ€™ registration and type approvals of ICT equipment. Furthermore, the public will be able to view type approved equipment and registered dealers. A dealers certificate of authorisation is issued to companies or organisations allowing them to deal in ICT equipment. On the other hand, type approval certificate is issued to certify that an ICT equipment model meets a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety standards.
The introduction of these online systems will save time and costs while bringing convenience as clients are now able to apply from home or wherever they are.
The advent of the systems has significantly reduced wait-time to hear back regarding an application status, the e-applicant will track the application progress online. The system will allow the user or applicant to receive an automatic email once they complete the online application, and most importantly, an approval letter will be emailed directly to the applicant.
The new online licensing system will ask for and require the exact same information as the manual process. The only difference is that the new online system will also give the applicant the option to provide an e-mail address so that he/she can receive immediate notification on the status of the application.
At present, applicants without internet access may still submit a paper application. They can come to the ZICTA offices to collect the application forms. However, ZICTA would like to encourage applicants to use the online systems because of the benefits they offer.
What is the future of these online systems?
In future, ZICTA is looking at linking the systems with other authorities such as ZRA and PACRA to make it even easier and simpler for applicants.
As indicated earlier in the column, these online services will reduce the cost of doing business and further save on time, and bring about convenience, thereby enhancing user -friendly service through ICTs.
For further information
The applicants can access our ZICTA websites www.zicta.zm or (onlinesystems.zicta.zm)
For more information please email email@example.com or contact us on the following telephone numbers 0211 244424, 244427 or 241236.