Telecoms sector apologizes to customers, blames load shedding for poor service delivery


The telecommunications sector has attributed poor service delivery to prolonged load shedding hours, resulting in high cost variances and compromised service quality.

The Global System for Mobile Communication Association of Zambia (GSMAZ) reported that over 3,500 towers connected to the national grid have been affected by extended load shedding.

“The extended load shedding hours have compromised the provision of quality service as backup power now requires constant refueling and more frequent servicing cycles,” GSMAZ stated in a release on Wednesday.

The power backup systems at telecom sites are generally designed to last a maximum of four hours.

Read more: Imported electricity to constitute 20% of total available power for one year —ZESCO

However, with the current load shedding lasting 13 to 14 hours daily, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) face significant costs for fuel, generator maintenance, and fuel delivery logistics.

“We are currently working with our tower partners, regulators, and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to cushion the current predicament, aiming to reduce the downtime that customers are experiencing,” the statement indicated.

In response, GSMAZ started deploying solar backup power solutions for medium to long-term resolutions.

“In the interim, we will continue to rely on existing power backup solutions,” the association noted.

GSMAZ emphasized open engagement with customers and stakeholders to address concerns and demonstrate a commitment to responsible business practices.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and assure them of our continued commitment to providing quality service. We are confident that our nation and all sectors will overcome the current challenges,” the association stated.

Zambia is reported to be experiencing the worst climate change effects in 60 years, impacting individuals and sectors nationwide, according to GSMAZ.

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