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MACRA to Erect New Towers to Promote Mobile Money Services

The Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has disclosed that it wants to erect 76 network towers in hard-to-reach areas in the next five years as a way of promoting mobile money transaction services and communication to all.

Communications manager for MACRA, Zadziko Mankhambo says their institution has established a Universal Service Fund Department under the communications act which has set aside funds to identify and fill gaps in network coverage through the five-year project.

Mankhambo has told Zodiak that the project will need to have collaborative partners for a quick execution.

"We are using the USF department to identify the gaps in network coverage throughout the country. There's a five-year plan to erect 76 network towers in areas where there is no network," said Mankhambo.

"Our plan is to have some partners so that we finish the project within the said period," he added.

Meanwhile, ICT Association of Malawi President, Bram Fudzulani, has commended MACRA for the initiative but has tipped government to address price issues of mobile gadgets which is chocking access to mobile services.

"This is a good project indeed but we need to do a study as a country to identify the gaps which might be there. If you can remember, the statistical office did a study that revealed that other people do not have access to mobile phones due to prices of the gadgets," said Fudzulani.

Malawi's Digital Economy Strategy by National Planning Commission reveals plans to improve network connectivity and access to mobile money services to 80% of the population by 2026.

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