Photograph — Nikkei Asia

Airtel Malawi has launched a new network site in the remote Dedza district in Malawi. The deployment of a network site is historic for the area.

The people in the district, which hasn’t had cellular network since the introduction of cell phones, will no longer have to climb trees or ant-hills to access mobile phone network.

The establishment of the site was part of a project that is going to see 80 new network sites deployed across the country by the end of the year, Airtel Malawi’s Senior Zonal Business Manager, Misheck Kavuta, said during the launch of the new network site.

“Apart from the ongoing process of upgrading our network from 3G to 4G in more districts, we are deploying over 80 new sites in areas that did not have network coverage. This is one of the areas that did not have any mobile network coverage but from now on, people from this area will be able to access all Airtel services,” Kavuta explained.

“At Airtel, we realize that people cannot meaningfully participate in the development of the country without communication as they are disconnected from the rest of the world,” he added.

Expressing his gratitude to Airtel Malawi extending its network coverage to his area, Group Village Headman Kanjondo said, “We are so excited with this development. People from here have mobile phones but have been facing problems to access mobile phone network. They have been climbing trees, mountains or anti-hills to access network but from now this is history.

The chief also revealed that his people are now able to communicate with their friends in neighbouring communities and even South Africa from the comfort of their homes. Adding that businesses had also started picking up and Kanyama will no longer be the same area people used to know.

Committed to improving network coverage in rural areas

In another development, Airtel Malawi has commissioned a new network tower at Mangunda trading centre.

Speaking on the project, the company’s Senior Business Manager Lesley Tsilizani said the company is committed to delivering services professionally in all areas countrywide, be it rural or urban areas and assured the network operator’s customers in remote areas of an improved network in 2019.

Tsilizani revealed that of the 80 sites targeted for network tower installation, 50 sites have already been reached with new towers so far.

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