By HUMPHREY NKONDE
Zambia Information Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has released statistics showing that there were more than five million users of broadband Internet in Zambia.
As the country’s population stands at slightly over 16 million people, the mobile broadband use therefore represents a penetration of about 33 percent.
ZICTA’s statistics, published on its official website, have been sourced from the Central Statistical Office, the custodian of the country’s official statistics.
Five years ago, there 379, 888 broadband users, meaning there is an addition of more than 15 million in that period of time.
Records also show that there are 12, 133, 818 registered SIM cards in the second quarter of 2016 compared to 1, 046, 288 in 2012.
The number of active SIM cards in Zambia has increased from 5,447,536 in 2010 to
11, 309, 494 in the second quarter of 2016.
Statistics therefore show that there has been a growth of more than 5, 000 active users in the past six years.
Growth rates in the number of those holding registered SIM cards in relation to the population to cheap mobile phones that can accommodate two chips.
Another factor is that people want to spend less in terms of phone calls within networks, which has caused them to be registered on the networks of the country’s mobile phone service providers.
The three mobile phone service providers are MTN, Zambia Telecommunication Company (ZAMTEL) and Airtel.
According to the data released by ZICTA, the average period used per mobile phone user was 49 minutes in 2011, which has increased to 108 minutes in the second quarter of 2016.
Statistics from the regulator of ICTs show that mobile penetration per 100 inhabitants was 41.6 in 2010 now standing at 70.5 in the second quarter of 2016.
While the number of those holding active SIM cards has grown, the number mobile service providers has remained at three in the past five years.