Telecommunications in Zambia

From Chalo Chatu, Zambia online encyclopedia

Telecommunications in Zambia includes radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Radio and television

The state-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) operates three radio networks. Roughly two dozen private radio stations are operating. Relays of at least two international broadcasters are accessible in Lusaka and Kitwe.[1]

ZNBC operates one television station, and is the principal local-content provider. There is also several private TV stations. Multi-channel subscription TV services are available.[1]


Facilities are among the best in sub-Saharan Africa. High-capacity microwave radio relay connects most larger towns and cities. Several cellular telephone services are in operation and network coverage is improving. A domestic satellite system is being installed to improve telephone service in rural areas. Very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks are operated by private firms.[1]


  • Top-level domain: .zm[1]
  • Internet service is widely available.[1]
  • Internet users:
    • 1.9 million users, 93rd in the world; 13.5% of the population, 160th in the world (2012);[3][4]
    • 816,200 users, 105th in the world (2009).[1]
  • Fixed broadband: 14,785 subscriptions, 138th in the world; 0.1% of the population, 166th in the world (2012).[3][5]
  • Wireless broadband: 90,643 subscriptions, 121st in the world; 0.7% of the population, 137th in the world (2012).[6]
  • Internet hosts: 16,571 hosts, 122nd in the world (2012).[1]
  • IPv4: 162,816 addresses allocated, less than 0.05% of the world total, 6.8 addresses per 1000 people (2012).[7][8]

Internet censorship and surveillance

Internet access is not restricted and individuals and groups freely express their views via the Internet, however the government frequently threatens to deregister critical online publications and blogs. In October 2012 the government attempted to deregister the blog Zambian Watchdog, but was unsuccessful because the blog was hosted abroad and therefore outside government control.[9]

The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, however the government uses provisions contained in the law to restrict these freedoms. The government is sensitive to opposition and other criticism and has been quick to prosecute critics using the legal pretext that they had incited public disorder. Libel laws are used to suppress free speech and the press.[9]

The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, but the government frequently does not respect these prohibitions. The law requires a search or arrest warrant before police may enter a home, except during a state of emergency or when police suspect a person has committed an offense such as treason, sedition, defamation of the president, or unlawful assembly. Police routinely enter homes without a warrant. The law grants the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), the Zambia Security Intelligence Service (ZSIS), and police authority to monitor communications using wiretaps with a warrant issued on the basis of probable cause, and authorities generally respect this requirement.[9]

See also

  • ZAMNET, service provider and registrar for the .zm domain.
  • Zamtel, state-owned telecommunications company.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Communications: Zambia", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 7 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  2. Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012", Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  4. "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  5. "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  6. "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  7. Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  8. Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Zambia", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 22 March 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014.

External links