Tanzania - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Tanzania sees a fall in m-money subscriptions

The government has actively embraced competition in the telecom market and has encouraged the private sector despite it having retaken control of the incumbent telco TTC (formerly TTCL) in June 2016. In June 2019 it also secured an additional 9% stake in Airtel Tanzania following a protracted legal dispute.

Foreign participation has also been encouraged to promote economic growth and social development. Policy reforms have led to the telecom sector becoming among the most liberal in Africa.

Tanzania only has one fixed-line operator, the incumbent TTC, after the small second operator stopped providing fixed services. There are also seven mobile service providers, with four additional players licensed under a new converged regulatory regime. Mobile penetration has reached 90% by March 2019. In recent years a price war among these players has adversely affected the smaller operators, which have suffered from customer churn.

The converged licensing regime has brought many new players into the market. The liberalisation of Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony as well as the introduction of third and fourth generation (3G, LTE) mobile services and wireless broadband networks has boosting the internet sector which has been otherwise hampered by the low level of development of the traditional fixed-line network.

Following the launch of mobile broadband services, the mobile network operators have become the leading internet service providers. Operators are hoping for revenue growth in the mobile data services market, given that the voice market is almost entirely prepaid and voice ARPU continues to fall. To this end they have invested in network upgrades. A fast-developing source of revenue is from mobile money transfer and m-banking services.

The landing of the first fibre optic international submarine cables in the country in recent years has revolutionised the market which up to that point entirely depended on expensive satellite connections. In parallel, the government is working on the later phases of a national fibre backbone network aimed at connecting population centres around the country.

The government has become more determined to manage the telecom sector more effectively. It has cracked down on counterfeit smartphones, which were thought to account for up to 30% of devices in circulation at the start of the campaign, while in early 2016 the telecom regulator’s board was dismissed after it had failed to update the Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring System (TTMS). This system was expected to deliver up to TZS400 billion to the government annually. In late 2016 a new tax collection system was launched to help generate revenue from telecom services.

The government in September 2017 completed a long-term process to reacquire the incumbent, buying out the 35% stake owned by Bharti Airtel. The company was reformed as the TTC in January 2018, with a mandate to develop telecom services and manage infrastructure.

Key developments:

  • Bharti Airtel completes transfer of shares in Airtel Tanzania to the state;
  • New MTRs agreed to 2022;
  • Tigo Pesa receives the GSMA Mobile Money Certification;
  • Halotel Tanzania launches HaloPesa m-banking service;
  • TTC extends LTE-A service, launches investment program for its FttP project;
  • Regulator launches biometric SIM card registration scheme;
  • TTC seeks TZS1.77 trillion over five years to upgrade networks and gain market share;
  • Government allocates TZS17.5 billion to improve rural telecom infrastructure;
  • Report update includes regulator’s market data to March 2019, operator data to Q1 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTC); Zanzibar Telecommunications Corporation (Zantel); Vodacom Tanzania; Bharti Airtel (Zain); Millicom (Tigo); Benson Informatics Limited (BOL); Sasatel (Dovetel); Africa Online; Raha.com; Tele2; Alink; SatCom Networks; SimbaNet; Afsat; Cats-Net.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market analysis
  • Regional African Market Comparison

    • TMI vs GDP
    • Mobile and mobile broadband
    • Fixed and mobile broadband
  • Regulatory environment

    • Regulatory authority
    • National Telecommunications Policy 1997
    • National ICT Policy
    • Regulatory overhaul
    • Electronic and Postal Communication Act 2010
    • Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations 2018
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Converged licensing framework (CLF)
      • International gateways
    • Interconnection
    • Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF)
    • Foreign ownership restrictions
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
  • Fixed network operators

    • TTC
      • Privatisation and exclusivity period 2000-2005
      • SaskTel management contract 2007-2009
      • Future direction
    • Zantel
    • BOL (Smart)
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • TTC’s fixed-line network
    • Wireless local loop (WLL)
    • Private networks
    • National fibre backbone
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine fibre
      • Satellite
      • Terrestrial
  • Broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
      • Public internet access locations
      • Tanzania Internet Exchange (TIX, AIXP)
    • Broadband infrastructure
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • EV-DO
      • Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi)
      • Satellite broadband
  • Digital economy

    • E-health
    • E-learning
  • Mobile market

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
      • Mobile data services
      • Mobile broadband
      • Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Regulatory issues
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Quality of Service
      • Spectrum auction – 700MHz
      • Tariffs
      • International roaming
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • Network sharing
      • SIM card registration
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
    • Other infrastructure developments
      • Mobile satellite services
      • Tower infrastructure
      • Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
      • IoT/M2M
    • Major mobile operators
      • TTC Mobile
      • Vodacom Tanzania
      • Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • Millicom Tanzania (Mobitel, Tigo)
      • Zanzibar Telecommunication (Zantel)
      • Halotel (Viettel Tanzania0
      • Mobile Virtual network Operators (MVNOs)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • M-money, m-banking
      • Mobile TV
      • M-health
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Tanzania – 2018
  • Table 2 – Fixed lines in service by operator and teledensity – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 3 – Average use of services per subscriber – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 4 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 2 – East Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Africa – Bottom-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Emergents) – 2018
  • Chart 4 – East Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country – 2018
  • Chart 5 – East Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2018
  • Chart 6 – East Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2018
  • Chart 7 – BOL (Smart) mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Fixed lines in service by operator and teledensity – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 9 – International bandwidth – 2009 – 2016
  • Chart 10 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 12 – Fixed wireless internet subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 13 – Mobile subscribers in Tanzania – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 14 – Mobile voice subscriber market share by operator – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 15 – SMS traffic – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 16 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 17 – Mobile internet subscribers – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 18 – Average mobile tariffs – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 19 – TTC mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 20 – Vodacom Tanzania subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 21 – Airtel subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 22 – Tigo Tanzania mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 23 – Zantel mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 24 – Halotel mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 25 – Mobile money subscriptions by operator– 2015 – 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – East Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 3 – 700MHz spectrum auction – June 2018
  • Exhibit 4 – Emergency rescue scheme for Lake Victoria

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