LUSAKA – Leading telecommunications company MTN Zambia has kicked off ‘Project Summer’, a K180 million project to boost network capacity and enable high-speed data services on 337 3G and 4G (LTE) network sites across Zambia. The site-by-site technical roll-out started this week, focusing on areas with the highest demand pressure, starting in the Copperbelt, the northern regions followed by Lusaka. Customers will experience the benefits of the increased capacity immediately. The project is expected to finalise in August.
The improvements are done by adding additional carriers on existing 3G and 4G network sites and upgrading current 3G sites to 4G. Project Summer also includes the activation of the 800Mhz 4G spectrum which was released by ZICTA recently and which will improve the 4G indoor data experience for customers. This is important for economic participation during the COVID-crisis when more people are working from home requiring better indoor coverage.
During the press conference, MTN Zambia CEO Mr. Bart Hofker said: “We have seen a number of effects of the Covid-crisis on our network. Network usage during the day has shifted from the traditional peak/off-peak to a more even distribution during the day. We also see a higher traffic in residential areas compared to business parks and part of the demand has shifted from voice to data. These changes require a more flexible capacity planning from us. Once project Summer is completed, our customers can enjoy a generally improved network speed with little or no interruptions.”
Mr Hofker added “We are constantly upgrading our network to stay ahead of the growing customer demand in Zambia. This year our total investment in network and IT is K315 million kwacha. In order to make sure nobody is left behind, we also plan to roll out an additional 100 rural sites together with our strategic partner VANU to expand reach and coverage in the remote areas of Zambia. We aim to finalize this by August, simultaneously with Project Summer. The remote coverage will be an addition to the existing 125 rural sites that we have in place as a result of our partnership with AMN.”
Project Summer is a PAN-African Program from MTN, that aims to improve network capacity across the MTN footprint in Africa.