Tanzania telecom penetration closes to 100 pc

THE communication sector in Tanzania is booming as the country approaches the 100 per cent penetration mark.

Tanzania is experiencing tremendous growth of its communication sector as the penetration is close to 100 per cent in the East African State.

Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA)’s latest report covering January-March 2023 states the overall penetration is currently at 98 percent, which is close to the saturation point.

It adds that Dar es Salaam is leading other regions with 18 percent of all active subscriptions, followed by Mwanza and Arusha with 6.4 percent and 6.0 percent respectively.

The report also shows that Dar es Salaam has the highest penetration rate compared to all regions at 17.71 per cent followed by Mwanza and Arusha with 6.2 per cent and 6.01 percent respectively.

Katavi, Rukwa, Lindi, and Njombe are the regions with the lowest penetration rates in Tanzania mainland.

Mbeya and Dodoma also feature prominently in the top ranking regions with 5.8 percent and 5.2 percent of all active subscribers respectively.

Commenting on the report, TCRA Director General DrJabiriBakari said: “The development is a testament to the positive strides made by (our) telecom industry in expanding access to communication services throughout the country.”

The communications regulator is optimistic that the trend is expected to continue as much as people embrace the use of mobile phones for communication and other services.

According to TCRA’s data, the telecom industry has experienced steady growth over the past five years, with an average increase of 8 percent per annum in subscriptions.

Despite this growth, telecom penetration has almost reached its maximum potential, with numbers hovering around 98 per cent in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.

The year-on-year statistics show a gradual increase in telecom penetration, with rates of 88 percent in 2019. It reached 89 percent in 2020 and 91 percent in 2021.

The trend of telecom subscriptions in East Africa and Africa over the past five years has been marked by steady growth, as more and more people gain access to mobile phones and other telecommunication devices.

According to data from the International Telecommunications Union, the number of mobile phone subscriptions in Africa grew from 420 million in 2015 to 477 million in 2019, representing an average annual growth rate of 3.3 percent.

The countries that lead in terms of telecom subscriptions in Africa are Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa, which together account for over half of all mobile phone subscriptions on the continent.

In East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are the countries with the highest number of mobile phone subscribers.

These countries have seen significant investment in their telecoms infrastructure in recent years, leading to improved connectivity and increased access to mobile phones and other communication devices for their citizens.

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