Zambia Research and Education Network (ZAMREN) is a specialised internet service provider dedicated to supporting the needs of the research and education communities in Zambia.
The purpose of ZAMREN is to provide the inter-institutional connectivity in terms of a National Research and Education Network (NREN), and to connect it to the Regional Research and Education Network (RREN) in Eastern and Southern Africa, UbuntuNet Alliance, thereby extending ZAMREN to other National Research and Education Networks in Africa and in the rest of the World.
ZAMREN is an association for tertiary level research and education institutions, which collectively intend to:
- Secure low-cost broadband connectivity to; all member institution (inter-institutional connectivity), dedicated global research and education resources (Regional networks) and the internet.
- Share their education resources via this dedicated infrastructure of ZAMREN
- Provide Advanced ICT services to its member institutions.
Membership is open to Universities, Research institutions, Colleges, Communications utility companies and various Government departments. Institutional membership is open to any organization that has an interest in research and sharing of information as well as service providers engaged in the promotion of advanced network applications and technology
Institutional membership. This category includes the following:
- Universities National Research Institutions
- Library Consortium
- Higher Institutions of Learning
Membership grade available to companies or divisions of companies may join as Educational Affiliate under Corporate Membership. These include service providers in Computers and Communications Network.
Professional training Institution
Institutional membership shall be open to any organization that has an interest in research and sharing of information or engaged in the promotion of advanced network applications and technology.
The UbuntuNet Backbone Network
UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking is an association of NRENs in Africa. The UbuntuNet Alliance exists to provide regional and international connectivity and Internet services to its member NRENs in Eastern and Southern Africa (“the Region”), on a non-profit basis. The Alliance provides specialised interconnections with other research and education networks worldwide – interconnections that are available only to bona-fide NRENs – and also connectivity to the general “commodity” Internet worldwide. The Alliance is in the process of designing a high-speed backbone network that will inter-connect the NRENs and provide them all with connectivity to major research and education networking gateways and general Internet gateways operated by the Alliance.
NRENs as local operators of the UbuntuNet backbone:- The UbuntuNet Alliance does not contemplate incorporating and seeking the required electronic communications licenses in each country of the region. Rather, in each country of the region, the Alliance intends to support the local NREN by contracting the NREN to provide and operate those portions of the UbuntuNet Backbone that lie within the country
The AfricaConnect Project
The African Union Commission and European Commission have announced a major project, known as AfricaConnect, which will undertake the initial deployment of the UbuntuNet Alliance Network backbone. This can be regarded as the first Phase of the overall vision of Africa Connect, a dedicated research and education network interconnecting the entire continent and to the rest of the global research and education networking community. The project budget is Euro14.2million of which EC will fund 80% and the 20% by recipient NRENs
This is a result of a one-year study commissioned by the European Commission (FEAST) to explore the feasibility of deploying a regional backbone dedicated to NRENs in sub-Saharan Africa to each other and to GEANT
ZAMREN is a full member of UbuntuNet Alliance and plans to actively participate in the AfricaConnect Project. ZAMREN has made its contribution of Euro250,000 towards the AfricaConnect project.
For more information visit AfricaConnect Project
The NICHE Project
ZAMREN has secured project funding from the Netherlands Government under the NICHE (Netherlands Initiative for Capacity building in Higher Education) programme. The three-year project is aimed at supporting the establishment of ZAMREN. The total project funding is Euro2,250,000. However, the funds under this project will be applied for capital investments and capacity building. UNZA, CBU, MU, COSETCO and Nkrumah will be the recipient institutions in the project.
Universal Access (ZICTA)
The Government of Zambia through ZICTA (the ICT Regulatory body) has embarked on an initiative to promote low-cost, quality, reliable and affordable ICT goods and services that are universally accessible to and meet the needs of the Zambian community.
Under this initiative, ZICTA has supported ZAMREN to provide optic fibre last-mile connectivity of UNZA, CBU, Mulungushi University to the ZESCO optic fibre grid. Last-mile connections of more institutions in the education and research category to the ZAMREN network are being planned and implemented. Institutions connected to the ZAMREN network are already enjoying a five-fold reduction in the cost of dedicated bandwidth. For more information visit ZICTA Universal Access
ZESCO Optic Fibre Project
ZESCO has rolled-out fibre on its power grid throughout the country. A component of this electrification project is optic fibre which is primarily used for power distribution control.
ZAMREN through an MOU has been accorded a free lambda path on this grid. This is major factor in ZAMREN’s network architecture and provision of its services.