Is Zamtel fibre optic only for companies?

Filed under: Breaking News |

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)

Comments Closed

46 Responses to Is Zamtel fibre optic only for companies?

  1. I definitely wanted to make a word to say thanks to you for all the unique ideas you are sharing on this website. My long internet research has finally been rewarded with excellent suggestions to write about with my classmates and friends. I would admit that many of us visitors actually are rather endowed to be in a decent network with so many brilliant professionals with beneficial suggestions. I feel pretty grateful to have used your entire website and look forward to some more exciting times reading here. Thanks a lot once again for everything.

    Tods Outlet Online - November 13, 2012

  2. 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.

    Noel - November 13, 2012

  3. 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.

    cety - November 13, 2012

  4. 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.

    Kalito - November 13, 2012

  5. 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.

    Libyan - November 13, 2012

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

    Reality, currently Zamtel in now STALL.

    betters - November 13, 2012

  7. 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.

    upnd youth treasurer - November 12, 2012

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

    We are tired of this nonsense!

    Suffering peacefuly…

    Observer - November 12, 2012

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

    mutwe - November 12, 2012

  10. 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

    mutwe - November 12, 2012

  11. Its optic fibre naimwe dnt be dull

    Vigilant Citizen (I AM BITTER) - November 12, 2012

  12. 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.

    mutwe - November 12, 2012

  13. 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.

    Heni - November 12, 2012

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

    Octopus Paul BWALYA - November 12, 2012

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

      Octopus Paul BWALYA - November 12, 2012

      • they also also called nervas opticus!

        enlightened - November 12, 2012

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

      Ex-con - November 13, 2012

  15. @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.

    FAST - November 12, 2012

  16. 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

    Kaya - November 12, 2012

  17. thanks jack bauer for that insight.I appreciate!

    red alert - November 12, 2012

    • 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..


      Umuntu - November 12, 2012

      • 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.

        betters - November 13, 2012

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

    Mubanga - November 12, 2012

  19. 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.

    jack bauer - November 12, 2012

  20. @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.

    ndombe - November 12, 2012

  21. 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

    mumba - November 12, 2012

    • Well said Ndombe

      Mulenga - November 12, 2012

  22. vintu nipanono

    dollar silly yaa" - November 12, 2012

  23. 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.

    Mukela - November 12, 2012

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

    The 3ye - November 12, 2012

  25. strange actually their service is dismal better keep yo MTN Moderm

    Anecho - November 12, 2012

    • 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

      Jey - November 12, 2012

  26. 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?

    red alert - November 12, 2012

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

    mulondwe muzungu - November 12, 2012

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

    Observer - November 12, 2012

  29. 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.

    bo lingi - November 12, 2012

  30. 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.

    joseph hillz - November 12, 2012

    • A direct result of nationalisation

      Soma - November 12, 2012

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

    Mbwatu.... - November 12, 2012

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

    Mwanawachisi - November 12, 2012

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

      haamakala - November 12, 2012

  33. 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

    Paparaz - November 12, 2012

    • 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.

      Umkonto We Sizwe - November 12, 2012

      • 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,

        CNP 2016 - November 12, 2012

  34. WHY hiding your name?

    back bencher - November 12, 2012

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

      kesaf - November 12, 2012