Is Zamtel fibre optic only for companies?

Dear Sir/Madam,
As a regular internet user I wish to ask Zambian internet users and all stakeholders, through your popular online publication, if ZICTA has any role in regulating the service regarding our state-owned ZAMTEL’s optic fibre connection.
In July this year the ZAMTEL chief executive officer announced the completion of its optic fibre connectivity to two submarine cables through the Namibia Telecoms. I understand that Namibia has got the fastest and cheapest internet connectivity in Africa, so we expect our service here to
register a marked improvement with cheaper rates as well.

I currently access the internet through MTN. But last week, when I wanted to switch over to ZAMTEL, I visited one of their offices here in Lusaka where I was told that the modems were out of stock and, in any case, the optic fibre connectivity is only available to companies and NGOs and not to individuals. I am wondering whether this kind of discrimination is helping the majority of internet users because we were all waiting for this service and therefore ZAMTEL should make it available to everyone who needs it, and, at affordable rates.

I am appealing to all stakeholders to ensure that our MPs take up this matter with ZAMTEL.
ZICTA have not responded to my e-mails.

(Please do not disclose my name)

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46 Responses to "Is Zamtel fibre optic only for companies?"

  1. Tods Outlet Online  November 13, 2012 at 12:37

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  2. Noel  November 13, 2012 at 09:06

    the problem with some people u pretend to be so learned i wonder if u read the Bible. I advise you to read a lot of proverbs. it doesn’t if you have an idea u should shut your friends up. googling is not solution or answer to the question.

    The biggest problem is we put wrong people in sensitive places. How do you put old school people to run technology improvement institutions.

    Check how fiber optic is used in other countries dont just tell people to google it looks like even your self you didnt google.

    in case u didnt know our freind in european countries started using this a long tym ago read about cable tv. telecommunication developments. your will notice fiber optic being used for cable tv, voice and data.

  3. cety  November 13, 2012 at 08:44

    zambia has indeed gone to the dogs.! Corruption and nepotism has brought serious inefficiency in public services.

    The situation is pathetic to say the least.

  4. Kalito  November 13, 2012 at 08:36

    This is a vivid expression of ignorance! However, one can never learn if they don’t ask! The fibre optic cable is not directly available to individuals and never will be as fibre optic network owners are not given retail licenses but carrier of carrier licenses. CEC is a good example and in partnership with another entity formed Realtime which handles the retail side. Zamtel and Zesco are no different. ISPs or large corporates can access the fibre. The simple reason is cost and economies of scale. For instance a bank that has connectivity as a must needs such infrastructure. It’s for this reason that Zamtel provides the connectivity for Barclays.

    You as an individual you will enjoy increased speeds and bandwidth through indirect connections. For instance Zamtel has connected its cell sites to its fibre network. Nothing beats a physical connection. So as you use 3G the only wireless connection is between your 3G device and the cellsite. The ASDL modem connects to your landline which itself is a cables connection and data is also routed via fibre at some point.

    You say you are on MTN. I use MTN for my home and office internet and it is stable and fast. MTN has an ISP called MTN business (former UUNET). It enjoys a superior gateway in RSA through MTN which expanded its network during the World Cup! The connection from Zambia is via fibre. Depending on your needs a 3G wireless router is better. 2GB/month data bundle usually does it for me. Download speeds hit over 400 kilobytes (3,200 kilobits)/sec. I also know that MTN is trailing 4G!

    Airtel on the other hand has the slowest and most unstable connection (despite its 3.75G marketing noise). There connection is through Namibia Telkom and as such they don’t have much control over their connection.

    Note that all three mobile options use fibre optic now to connect to the rest of the world. This makes your question redundant! Other traditional ISPs like Microlink, Africonnect (which maintains Google servers for Zambia) equally use fibre. They however don’t own it (hence carrier of carriers license to owner of network e.g Zamtel).

    It’s a good idea to do some basic googling before asking such a sweeping question. However, ask and you shall receive.

  5. Libyan  November 13, 2012 at 07:21

    Zamtel is doomed corruption has dwelled in the Company badly. Now there is no plan for the Company as the EXCO team is busy in corruption. I am sorry but Sata and his Cabinet was not wise no Government in the world is running Telecoms it is simply waste of TAx payer money.

  6. betters  November 13, 2012 at 06:48

    You guys were dancing and celebrating removal of LapGreen and appointment of kabimba.

    Reality, currently Zamtel in now STALL.

  7. upnd youth treasurer  November 12, 2012 at 22:35

    All is almost said that a person would understand about optic fibre. However, not really promoting Zamtel, their dongles are better. Said this out of experience, am using one after tried all others, though on mtn b/berry internet service. Said this coz one wanted to discredit their service, but still waiting for cheaper internet service in Zambia.

  8. Observer  November 12, 2012 at 21:22

    The next topic must be, is Zesco only for State House?

    We are tired of this nonsense!

    Suffering peacefuly…

  9. mutwe  November 12, 2012 at 20:16

    ONE DONGLE from Zamtel to be connected to fibre??? One Professor in Kitwe has a personalised E1 for his comms between Lsk and Kitwe

  10. mutwe  November 12, 2012 at 20:14

    What do you need fibre for at your home? Do you know the fibre technology? Dongles from Zamtel, MTN and Airtel are not indivdually connected to fibre. I hope a very resear tips will help reduce your ignorance

  11. Vigilant Citizen (I AM BITTER)  November 12, 2012 at 20:11

    Its optic fibre naimwe dnt be dull

  12. mutwe  November 12, 2012 at 20:11

    the modems sold by zamtel are not individually connected to fibre! you need to get your technology facts right.tune to znbc every thursday 20:30 for details. im not spokesperson,,,sorry.we have a metro fibre in lusaka that is connecting various organisations,grz companies etc…what do you need fibre for at your home bro? it has too much bandwidth for you alone, my man. now this answers you!
    i donot know which office you visited and fed you with wrong information. however, it is true that these modems are temporary o.ut of stock. using dongles, zamtel has the fastest internet which we are offering to zambians.

  13. Heni  November 12, 2012 at 20:03

    You are asking for too much. Zambians enjoy being backward. It gives them such a swill for them to know that they have better and faster Internet than you. That’s just the nature of Zambians. Very backward.

  14. Octopus Paul BWALYA  November 12, 2012 at 19:30

    You raised good points but its called fibre optic not the other way round shaaa!

    • Octopus Paul BWALYA  November 12, 2012 at 19:32

      You can’t call optic nerves to nerves optics . Shaa

      • enlightened  November 12, 2012 at 21:26

        they also also called nervas opticus!

    • Ex-con  November 13, 2012 at 08:18

      Sheet bed, bed sheet, same difference. Next please.

  15. FAST  November 12, 2012 at 17:07

    @Jack, this is what is called investment. If the will power was there by Zamtel to invest in cheap and fast internet, with the lack of fixed line telephoney (through which broadband internet can be provided) Zamtel would have to lay fibre optic cables to a jucntion box onto residential areas. Until there is this will power, given that they dont want to provide fixed telephone likes, the option is by wireless connectivity. It may sound expensive laying optical fibre lines to residential areas, but that is the only way there will be a high internet up take and with that the prices will fall.

  16. Kaya  November 12, 2012 at 17:01

    First of all, there is no need to insult each other here. The issues raised affect all of us Zambians equally.

    Secondly, what the writer of this article was told at Zamtel is true. Fibre is rarely used in what is called the ‘last mile’ – which is from where Zamtel have their equipment to your home. That is because you don’t need that much bandwidth to your home and anyway, chances are that you can’t afford it. It’s like dropping your two kids at school every morning using a 100 sitter bus.


    There is need to make internet very, very cheap in Zambia. In some developing countries farmers use cheap internet to get weather forecasts etc. Even doctors can remotely do a whole lot of good to rural communities. The rewards are endless

  17. red alert  November 12, 2012 at 14:49

    thanks jack bauer for that insight.I appreciate!

    • Umuntu  November 12, 2012 at 15:49

      Thank you man for that.. may be ZICTA will break there silence..i wonder if for real ZICTA is doing its job..just see how the network providers are stealing from poor zambian in the name of AIRTEl..SATE TO SATE advert says “Get a share from K4 billion by texting” but suprisingly they are charging for texting and the amount k 2000 its just too much..and contraly to the advert..if at all there’s that K4 billion..why cant they just make customers buy and use a certain amount of talk time on calling and not to text and been charged.

      ZCITA should come in and stop this kind of brain washing and persuasive adverts..its making poor people more poorer…and it seems there are making alot of money through stealing in the name of GAMBLING..


      • betters  November 13, 2012 at 06:51

        actually, the mojor expense ISP face is ZICTA. The license fees are very very high. For an ISP license you will be charged US$ 50,000 on top of other licenses that that cost in the range of US$ 200 – US$ 1,500. you can easily spend US$ 100,000 before you even by any fixed asset.

  18. Mubanga  November 12, 2012 at 14:01

    thanks for the letter. Hope someone will act and provide us cheaper and faster internet sooner than later.

  19. jack bauer  November 12, 2012 at 13:56

    I am a telecoms engineer and Zamtel can still provide internet to anyone using optic fiber. The only problem is that it won’t be economical to a mere residential consumer. Anyone can have even 100Mbps of internet to their home but it is still expensive do that now. Our local telecoms infrastructure currently has poor penetration. I hope this helps.

  20. ndombe  November 12, 2012 at 13:37

    @mumba, please his names are not yet complete, u shud add his full names. bwalya, chate, mubanga nsofwa, mukuka, kabwe chishimba kanongaebo mbushi chitofu. even then, his names are not yet completed.

  21. mumba  November 12, 2012 at 13:31

    If you have nothing to say just keep quiet. Why insist on the name, what is it going to give you. Ok i know the name he is Mulenga Mutale Chomba Chisanga Chongo Wa kumesnshi Bwalya,so say what you want to say

    • Mulenga  November 12, 2012 at 14:14

      Well said Ndombe

  22. dollar silly yaa"  November 12, 2012 at 13:11

    vintu nipanono

  23. Mukela  November 12, 2012 at 13:03

    the man has raised a very important issue.looking at what has been spent by zamtel and zesco on this fibre optic cable, indeed, internet should now be faster and cheaper in zambia. As bloggers let us avoid insult. its better to just comment on the issue sensively.

  24. The 3ye  November 12, 2012 at 12:27

    “…ZICTA have not responded to my e-mails.” I’m yet to know of any organisation in Zambia that responds to email queries.

  25. Anecho  November 12, 2012 at 12:24

    strange actually their service is dismal better keep yo MTN Moderm

    • Jey  November 12, 2012 at 20:05

      No my friend, Zamtel internet (ADSL) is very fast, you can watch Live streaming football on Zamtel internet. It about 5 second behind what you watch on your dstv and about 3 seconds ahead off what we watch on our own ZNBC. As for you my freind I think the person who attended to you did not really understand what you wanted, if u said, I want to be connected to optic fibre for my home internet, he was right to give you that answer, What you need first a a landline, then you get your ADSL modem and then you will fast and high speed internet at a very reasonable rate if you put it to good use. We use Fibre to link all the switches and BTS, you will be connected to the switch through a copper wire but still you will have very high speed internet with unlimited data
      If you wanted to change from MTN to Zamtel, maybe what you wanted was a Zamtel Dongo. Hope What I have put forward makes sense

  26. red alert  November 12, 2012 at 12:20

    i think let’s stick to the issue at hand. the blogger’s name is not important here. the question is why should the internet still be expensive when a fibre optic cable has been laid?

  27. mulondwe muzungu  November 12, 2012 at 12:15

    Internet pa ZED is still a luxury when even in developing countries like India it is ready available in almost every home.

  28. Observer  November 12, 2012 at 12:12

    Paparazzi you are very ignorant Zambian. The person has raised important issue no wonder some chaps here are time wasters! Go back to school!

  29. bo lingi  November 12, 2012 at 12:07

    fiber is an expensive undertaking,these NGOs can afford to pay for the fiber layout.i dont work for zamtel but i understand the cost.laying fiber up to your house will never bring revenue to the company.

  30. joseph hillz  November 12, 2012 at 11:57

    The person has rised an important issue and all sum bloggerz can do is talk abt a non issue of hiding names.surely internet shud be cheap since the much talked abt optic fibre was completed.i have noticed that even airtel now have reduced their shud therefore be more cheaper with zamtel unlike presently where one has to cough close to a million kwacha per month to enjoy internet access at home.zicta though toothless surely can act and remedy this situation.

    • Soma  November 12, 2012 at 12:43

      A direct result of nationalisation

  31. Mbwatu....  November 12, 2012 at 11:52

    ZESCO and ZAMTEL are Sata’s backyard garden, dont expect reduced rates but increased rates coupled with poor services, Kunamani.

  32. Mwanawachisi  November 12, 2012 at 11:40

    Dont hide your identity unless you have done your homework properly.

    • haamakala  November 12, 2012 at 11:56

      This is Zambia CNP can fire u even you are unemployed, its better to hide from our bachelor SATANA

  33. Paparaz  November 12, 2012 at 11:37

    Do you expect Zamtel to dig and lay fibre all the way to your house? You sound like you are very ignorant about the possibility of providing fibre internet into various homes.

    These things are done in phases. Just be patient

    • Umkonto We Sizwe  November 12, 2012 at 13:22

      And who told you that Zamtel cannot dig upto people’s homes? Thats the only way they can also increase the number of people employed. Actually it’s you who is ignorant.

      People would be employed in digging as well as fibre termination since the demand would be high for the service.

      If you are ignorant it’s better you just keep quite than defending what is not there.

      • CNP 2016  November 12, 2012 at 23:04

        Digging to pipo’s homes will increase employment? Don’t it’ll also reduce the revenue to improve service. That’s the problem with nationalised firms,

  34. back bencher  November 12, 2012 at 11:25

    WHY hiding your name?

    • kesaf  November 12, 2012 at 11:44

      y r u using a fake name and u want others o disclose their real names?

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