DEVELOPING countries like Zambia encounter limitations in the provision of a robust information and communications technology (ICT) platform, making the conduct of business, especially with external markets, a difficult task.
This is where reliable, efficient, effective and innovative 24/7 connectivity becomes a â€˜must-haveâ€™ in todayâ€™s competitive marketplace. When communication flows like clockwork, the conduct of business becomes an easy task and success is attainable.
There is a ray of hope on the Zambian ICT horizon ushered in by the partnership between NSSLGlobal, a United Kingdom-based satellite communications company, and Telplus Communications Limited, a local firm and new entrant on the countryâ€™s telecommunications landscape.
The two organisations have sealed a hand-in-glove deal to breathe a new lease of life into the countryâ€™s ICT sector with planned coverage of remote and rural areas where GSM solutions have poor or non-existent coverage.
Outlining the work of NSSLGlobal, the companyâ€™s business development manager, global government and enterprise, Steve Tunks, said NSSLGlobal prides itself with a global partner network, providing outstanding service to all customers via its 24/7 technical helpdesk.
â€œWe are optimistic that the knowledge and technology transfer will benefit Zambia and its neighbouring countries. NSSLGlobalâ€™s strength stems from our wide network and comprehensive range of products and world-renowned status,â€™â€™ he enthused.
The service provision of NSSLGlobal cuts across the mining, media, maritime (commercial and superyacht), government and financial sectors. Thus, the partnership will help fuse ICT solutions in areas where the innovations usage are minimal in the country and region.
â€œAfrica is an interesting market to us with various opportunities in our line of business. Finding a strategic partner is not an easy task. We identified Telplus as a company we could work with and offer knowledge and technology transfer to help them grow their business,â€ said Mr Tunks.
â€œZambia is landlocked in the midst of eight countries, thus it is strategically located and ideally stationed to expand throughout the SADC region. We are pleased to offer our expertise and contribute to the development of the ICT sector in the country and beyond,â€ he added.
Asked what attracted NSSLGlobal to the Zambian market, he said the political and financial stability was the key factor as these ingredients were vital in the transaction and success of any business undertaking.
Telplus Communications Limited chief executive officer Chim Moore said: â€œThe knowledge transfer from a top-notch satellite provider is creating a lot of confidence in our employees to enable them deliver to our clients. The skills transfer that has already taken place is amazing.
â€œTelplus are a one-stop shop for single and multiple users. We want to reach places where mobile service providers have not penetrated. We would like to cover these areas. For instance, ICT can help in elections generally, especially in areas where there is no GSM network.â€
In terms of expansion into the region, Mrs Moore said Telplus was already supplying satellite communication to several defence forces that are deployed in UN peacekeeping missions. Apart from this, plans are afoot to extend its services to other sectors in the region in the near future.
â€œWe are honoured to have partners like NSSLGlobal and Inmarsat. We really appreciate what they are doing for us as we roll out in Zambia and other countries in the region,â€™â€™ she said.
On future plans, Telplus is keenly following the construction of 650 health posts by Government throughout the country as it sees this as an opportunity for the delivery of ICT facilities.
In another development, Telplus is partnering with CEC Liquid Telecom, which is strong in fibre, to provide a premium fibre connectivity in the country.
The firm is expanding its footprint in the region with a robust plan to roll out to all Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries in the next five years.
â€œCurrently operating in Zambia with a presence in Malawi, our plans are to penetrate Tanzania and Mozambique in due course, in line with our mission to provide satellite communication to the entire continent,â€™â€™ Telplus sales and marketing manager Ivy Zulu-Mumba said.
Telplus is a Zambian firm established in 2013 with the primary focus of providing satellite equipment solutions. This equipment allows uninterrupted and excellent connectivity via data and voice. It is servicing various sectors, which include energy, enterprise, NGOs, banks, media, government and mining.
The company provides a wide variety of satellite equipment, from phones to broadband systems, in order to aid stronger, more reliable communication methods. It endeavours to provide reliable back-up communication systems for voice and broadband solutions.
With the products coming in various packages to suit clientsâ€™ unique needs, the guaranteed, reliable and efficient communications solution will enhance activities across the entire economic spectrum of the Zambian economy.
Strong points of satellite communication is that customers are able to communicate messages, stream live video or just phone back to the office from remote areas of the country and the continent, thus enhancing business and development.
The author is a freelance journalist, media and PR consultant.