September 26, 2019 / 4:19 PM / 6 months ago

Zambia cancels license of Vodafone franchise holder over poor capacity

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia’s communications regulator said on Thursday it had canceled the license for Vodafone’s local franchise holder, citing a lack of technical and financial capacity.

Vodafone in 2016 licensed Afrimax, a telecommunications service provider in sub-Saharan Africa to offer customers high speed 4G data services using the Vodafone Zambia brand.

Vodafone said it had terminated the agreement with Afrimax in April 2018, and had no ongoing relationship with the company.

No one at Afrimax was immediately available to comment.

The company, registered as Mobile Broadband Ltd, has lately been experiencing operational problems and issued a statement in July saying its shareholders had failed to recapitalize it.

Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority said in a statement Vodafone Zambia would cease to operate from Oct. 20.

“The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority has canceled network and service licenses issued to Mobile Broadband Limited trading as Vodafone Zambia Limited,” it said in a statement.

“The cancellation is on the grounds that Mobile Broadband Limited has ceased to fulfill the eligibility requirements ... by not being technically and financially capable of meeting the obligations and terms and conditions of the license.”

Reporting by Chris Mfula and Paul Sandle; Editing by David Evans and Jane Merriman

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