The regulator ordered cellular network operators to terminate the services of customers who had not registered their numbers by
Bharti had more subscribers in rural areas who took longer to register or did not comply with regulations, Joseph Kafwariman, the customer services director at the Zambian unit of
"We realised after the cut-off date that people in a number of rural areas weren't aware of the registration requirements," he said. "We are planning to go deep into these areas and get these customers back."
Bharti's subscribers fell 3.8 percent last year, while MTN grew customers by 7.5 percent because of an improved network quality, the ministry's 2013 annual economic report said.
Kafwariman said Bharti planned to increase its registered subscribers to more than 4 million by the end of March next year as it built more towers and boosted network reach. The company also planned to introduce fourth-generation services by September.
MTN and the third-biggest operator, Zamtel, both say they have already introduced the technology, which provides faster internet connections.
Bharti would boost revenue in
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