GRZ Told To REVERSE Law For 4th Mobile Telecomunications Provider

ZAMBIA Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) and Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) have joined other calls for government to reverse the law restricting entry of the fourth mobile phone service operator. ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda says the larger the number of players on the market the better because this help costs go down and consumers to benefit. “ZACCI supports Government efforts to liberalise the economy, when we have more players in the industry doing business becomes cheaper although we should see to it that these providers do not form cartels,” he said Mr Sakulanda said that even as the new players are entering the market issues of better and improved services should not to be over looked. And ZACA executive director Muyunda Ililonga said the restriction of the entry of more mobile phone service providers was anti-competitive. He said if the government reverses the statutory instrument to make the mobile sector more competitive and the consumers will have a wide choose without being limited to a particular operator. “The restricting of more mobile providers by the government was anti-competitive and should be reversed. We need as many as possible mobile providers in the country,” he said. Speaking in a separate interview in Lusaka Mr Ililonga said the introduction of the fourth mobile provider is good for the consumer’s welfare adding that it will reduce the cost of the products. The government should remove all barriers and fully liberalise the sector so that the consumer’s welfare is not undermined. Government through the Ministry of Communication and Transport issued Statutory Instrument No. 111 of 2009 that has prevented entry into the fixed telephone and mobile communication networks markets up to 2014. The reason Government gave was that allowing unrestricted entry into the mobile market will result into the market having more market players fighting for a few subscribers which might eventually force others to exit the market due to unattractive profit margins despite prior substantial investment in their mobile network operations. Government noted that in this regards, for another entry to occur into the market, Zambia is supposed to attain a certain level in both subscription and potential which will warrant continued profitability of all market players.