Tanzania records substantial growth of broadcasting sector

TANZANIA has experienced a substantial growth of its broadcasting sector as the latest figure shows that a total of 741 broadcasting and online media service providers have so far registered.

Tanzania’s Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Dr Jabiri Bakari says the number depicts massive growth of the industry.

Disaggregating the figure, the TCRA czar told reporters in Dodoma that a total of 61 television stations, 390 Internet televisions, 65 cable televisions, 218 radios and online radio stations have been registered by the regulator since it was established in 2003.

According to Dr Jabir, TCRA has made concerted efforts to ensure that the country’s broadcasting industry is expanding and contributing significantly to the growth of the economy.

“Broadcasting is the only approach that assures instantaneous communication with a large audience. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority collaborates closely with the sectors and the parent Ministry to foster an environment that allows radio, television, and online broadcasting services to reach all parts of Tanzania,” emphasised Dr Jabiri.

He noted that TCRA would ensure that the service providers adhere to rules and regulations governing the sector as well as ensuring practitioners conform to ethics and professionalism.

“It is the role of the Authority to support the development and distribution of local broadcasting content that promotes our heritage, attractions, customs and traditions,” he emphasised.

The TCRA boss said the regulator engages with international and regional entities including the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA) for the betterment of the sector.

According to broadcasting industry statistics, there were 3,326,845 active TV set-top boxes as of September 2022. There were 1,656,460 DTT set-top boxes reported, compared to 1,670,385 STBs (Satellite Receiver Box).

According to TCRA, until September 2022 Dar es Salaam is the region with the highest number of set-top boxes subscribers, with 1,270,755 decoders, followed by Arusha (272,702), Mwanza (272,237) and Mbeya (218,007).

Songwe, with 1,568 STBs, is the region with the least number of the same, followed by Katavi with just 16,990 boxes.

Cable TV is widespread from 16,786 people connected in 2018 to 41,092 in September 2022.

According to the figure, cable TV service is largely widespread in the Lake regions, as Simiyu region takes a lead with a total of 4,584 customers connected, followed by Mwanza with 3,480.

The regulator also disclosed that the number of cable television subscribers climbed from 16,786 in 2018 to 41,092 in September 2022. According to TCRA, cable TV services are more prevalent in Lake zone regions, with Simiyu leading the way with 4,584 subscribers, followed by Mwanza with 3,480 users.

While thanking TCRA’s DG, the Director of the Information Services Department, who doubles as the government’s chief spokesperson, Gerson Msigwa, noted that the government has made progress so far in managing the nation’s telecommunications sector to ensure it plays important role in the country’s economy.

“We have budgeted 147 billion for this year. By 2025, we hope to have 15,000 kilometres of national ICT backbone built,” remarked Msigwa.

The TCRA Director General previously stated that the Authority through the Content Committee will continue to ensure that the broadcasting sector performs its duties in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards.

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