Symbol image: cell tower

Telecommunication in Zambia

Compared to the United States, Zambia is massively lagging behind in the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +260, there were a total of 20.31 million connections in 2021. Among them were 20.25 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 1.0 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With about 16,571 webhosts, Zambia is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 745 of these, or about 4 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

Back to overview: Zambia

Development of telephone and internet connections

With an average download speed of 9.3 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, Zambia ranks 156th in an international comparison. The upload rate was 9.6 Mbit/second (133rd place).
In mobile internet, i.e., on tablets and smartphones, Zambia comes 122nd with a download speed of 14.45 Mbit/second. The upload speed of around 9 Mbit was enough for 102nd place.

The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in February 2023 from 180 countries.

This is how much a mobile phone contract costs in Zambia

Every year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 8.20 was calculated Zambia in 2021. Compared to the previous year, this amount increased by 1 cents.

The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in Zambia spends 9.6% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.

In the USA, the monthly cost was around $41.80.

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the internet in Zambia from 1990 - 2021

Broadband internet in Zambia 2000 - 2021

Symbol image: cell towerZambia is lagging behind in the expansion of broadband internet connections. Around 21 percent of all residents have access to the internet. Around 0 percent have their own fast internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the internet via mobile communications.

Landlines 1990 - 2021

Mobile phones 1990 - 2021

The increasing prevalence of cell phones and the simultaneous decline in the number of fixed-network phones also indicate a change here. While the number of fixed-network phones has declined over the past few years, the number of cell phones has increased noticeably at the same time. Most recently, there were 104 cell phone contracts per 100 people. This trend can be observed worldwide, but is not yet as pronounced in Wakanda as in some other countries.

All international calling codes

Distribution in 2021Zambia
Internet users4.13 m21.23 %304.52 m91.75 %
Broadband users80,592.000.41 %125.89 m37.93 %
Landlines65,913.000.34 %97.82 m29.47 %
Mobile cellulars20.25 m103.97 %361.66 m108.97 %

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