By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
MOBILE service providers have been challenged to introduce best international practices and innovations which will improve the telecommunications sector in Zambia while adapting quality service which is impacting on customer experience.
Lack of quality service and adopted best practices have contributed to the sector not to contribute enough to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Science and Technology Minister, Felix Mutati.
Mr Mutati regretted that the sector was currently contributing less than five percent to the country’s GDP.
He emphasised that the quality service remained fundamental in the function of investment by mobile service operators.
The minister said this yesterday in Lusaka at a meeting with Mobile Network Service (MNOs) providers organised by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA)
“Something must be done together to boost the sector’s GDP contribution to the economy. Technology and science must have some level of principles such as improved connectivity, quality levels of handsets which are also affordable,” Mr Mutati said.
Mr Mutati challenged MNOs to ensure that they offloaded innovations and services in Zambia which were being used in other regions across the continent.
He regretted that some mobile service providers offloaded better services in other countries as compared to Zambia.
He also urged ZICTA to effectively collaborate with players in the i industry in an effort to improve GDP contribution to the economy.
“ZICTA must find better resolutions to the players. When operators apply for product approval, ZICTA should be able to attend to that at a speed,” Mr Mutati said.
And Ministry of Science and Technology Permanent Secretary, Kayula Siame, stressed the need for both players in the industry and ZICTA to find common grounds in improving quality of service.
Ms Siame indiacted that both needed to understand their roles and obligation in growing the sector while improving quality of service.
“ZICTA must ensure to be inclusive as it sets regulations and guidelines while mobile operators should also present their understand on quality of service,” she said.
Earlier, ZICTA acting Director General, Mwenya Mutale, said the authority awaited policy direction from Government regarding the quality of service.
ZICTA, Mr Mutale said, recognised that quality of service was a topical issue.
He stated that it was for this reason that ZICTA was open for decision making to reside well with the industry.