Report: Telecom subscribers hit 61.9 million

TELECOMMUNICATION companies in the country have experienced a significant increase in number of active subscribers, as the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) first quarter report shows there are approximately 61.9 million active SIM cards.

By January this year, according to the report, Vodacom was trailing other companies with the highest number of subscriptions that stood at 18,364,363, followed by Airtel (16,654,648) and Tigo (16,292,808).

Until the end of Q1, TCRA’s dossier added that Vodacom remained top with the highest number of subscribers, totaling 18,553,779, surpassing all other Mobile Network Operators.

Airtel followed slightly close with 17,054,716 subscribers of telecom services and Tigo, which has now merged with Zantel, came third with 16,599,038 active subscribers while Smile closed the list with 15,171 subscribers.

According to TCRA data, the total subscriptions increased by 1.2per cent from 60.3 million subscriptions in December 2022 to 61.9 million as of the end of March 2023. On average, this represents an increase of 0.59 per cent every month of the quarter under review.

Commenting on the findings, TCRA Director General, Dr Jabiri Bakari said the report is crucial for telecom companies to assess performance of their services.

“The report is crucial for telecom companies to asses performance of their services, as well as for policymakers to monitor the industry’s growth and its impact on the economy,” he stated.

Regarding the regulator’s report, Mr Vincent Mpepo, a resident of Dar es Salaam opined that for service providers to attract more subscribers in the future, they need to develop more innovative and cost-effective products.

“As the telecom industry in Tanzania becomes more crowded, providers will need to think outside the box to attract and retain customers. It’s not just about lowering prices but offering unique value propositions that stand out in a crowded market.

“Companies that can innovate and adapt to changing customer needs will have a better chance of success in the long run,” insisted Mr Mpepo who lectures at one of universities in Dar es Salaam.

TCRA observed that mobile networks subscribers account for 99.86 per cent of all subscribers in the market, while the fixed network has only 0.14 per cent, noting that the fixed market services are only provided by one operator while the mobile services are provided by all six operators.

In the same period, Quality of Service (QoS) measurements were carried out for five Mobile Service Providers, namely Airtel Tanzania Plc (trading as Airtel), Viettel Tanzania Plc (trading as Halotel), MIC Tanzania Plc (trading as Tigo and Zantel), Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (trading as TTCL) and Vodacom Tanzania PLC (trading as Vodacom).

The exercise was carried out in Kinondoni, Ilala, Temeke, Ubungo, Kigamboni, Coast, Mara, Iringa, Mafinga, Kilolo, Njombe, Ruvuma, Singida, Unguja, Morogoro, Simiyu, Dodoma and Arusha.

Measurements were conducted from January to March, 2023 for services offered on 2G, 3G and 4G technologies through mobile devices in dual mode configuration.

QoS measurements were conducted considering the QoS parameters where it was revealed that network availability where it was revealed the threshold for compliance is greater than 99 percent.

Network Availability is a measure of how well the mobile network, according to the regulator, is available when consumers want to use mobile network services.

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