Tanzania - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Tanzania’s government orders suspension of licences to enforce IPOs

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. 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. However, high import tariffs on telecoms equipment and taxes on telephone facilities by various authorities are still placing a burden on investors and operators.

Tanzania has two fixed-line operators (TTC and Zantel) and eight operational mobile networks, with four additional players licensed under a new converged regulatory regime. With four major operators – Vodacom, Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain), Tigo and Zantel – mobile penetration has reached 83% by March 2017. 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:

  • Regulator consults on IoT/M2M numbering plan;
  • Auction for 700MHz spectrum completed;
  • Government orders suspension of licences to telcos failing to list 25% of shares on the stock market;
  • New MTRs agreed to 2022;
  • Tigo Pesa receives the GSMA Mobile Money Certification;
  • Halotel Tanzania launches Halopesa m-banking service;
  • GSMA initiates rural tower sharing partnership to provide services to rural areas;
  • TTC extends LTE-A service, launches investment program for its FttP project;
  • Government sets up Telecommunications Revenue Assurance System (TRASS) to improve telecom tax raising ability;
  • Telecom regulator fines mobile operators for failing to register SIM cards;
  • TTC secures TZS600 billion loan to enable it to improve its telecom infrastructure and services in rural areas;
  • Vodacom Tanzania updates M-Pesa service with its G2 platform;
  • Tanzanian MNOs improve on full m-money interoperability;
  • Government allocates TZS17.5 billion to improve rural telecom infrastructure;
  • Report update includes regulator’s market data to March 2018, operator data to Q2 2018, 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

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authority
    • 5.2 National Telecommunications Policy 1997
    • 5.3 National ICT Policy
    • 5.4 Regulatory overhaul
    • 5.5 Electronic and Postal Communication Act 2010
    • 5.6 Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations 2018
    • 5.7 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 5.7.1 Converged licensing framework (CLF)
      • 5.7.2 International gateways
    • 5.8 Interconnection
    • 5.9 Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF)
    • 5.10 Foreign ownership restrictions
    • 5.11 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 5.12 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 TTC
      • 6.1.1 Privatisation and exclusivity period 2000-2005
      • 6.1.2 SaskTel management contract 2007-2009
      • 6.1.3 Future direction
    • 6.2 Zantel
    • 6.3 BOL (Smart)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 TTC’s fixed-line network
    • 7.2 Wireless local loop (WLL)
    • 7.3 Private networks
    • 7.4 National fibre backbone
  • 8. International infrastructure
    • 8.1 Submarine fibre
    • 8.2 Satellite
    • 8.3 Terrestrial
  • 9. Broadband market
    • 9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 9.1.1 Market analysis
      • 9.1.2 Broadband statistics
      • 9.1.3 Public internet access locations
      • 9.1.4 ISP market
      • 9.1.5 Tanzania Internet Exchange (TIX, AIXP)
    • 9.2 Broadband infrastructure
      • 9.2.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • 9.2.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
      • 9.2.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • 9.2.4 EV-DO
      • 9.2.5 Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi)
      • 9.2.6 Satellite broadband
  • 10. Digital economy
    • 10.1 E-health
    • 10.2 E-learning
  • 11. Mobile market
    • 11.1 Market analysis
    • 11.2 Mobile statistics
      • 11.2.1 Mobile data services
      • 11.2.2 Mobile broadband
      • 11.2.3 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 11.3 Regulatory issues
      • 11.3.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 11.3.2 Quality of Service
      • 11.3.3 Spectrum auction – 700MHz
      • 11.3.4 Tariffs
      • 11.3.5 International roaming
      • 11.3.6 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 11.3.7 Network sharing
      • 11.3.8 Roaming
      • 11.3.9 SIM card registration
    • 11.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 11.4.1 3G
      • 11.4.2 4G (LTE)
    • 11.5 Other infrastructure developments
      • 11.5.1 Mobile satellite services
      • 11.5.2 Tower infrastructure
      • 11.5.3 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
      • 11.5.4 IoT/M2M
    • 11.6 Major mobile operators
      • 11.6.1 TTC Mobile
      • 11.6.2 Vodacom Tanzania
      • 11.6.3 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • 11.6.4 Millicom Tanzania (Mobitel, Tigo)
      • 11.6.5 Zanzibar Telecommunication (Zantel)
      • 11.6.6 Halotel (Viettel Tanzania0
      • 11.6.7 Mobile Virtual network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 11.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 11.7.1 M-money, m-banking
      • 11.7.2 Mobile TV
      • 11.7.3 M-health
    • 11.8 Handsets
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Tanzania – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Interconnection rates – 2012- 2017
  • Table 3 – TTC financial data – 2010; 2012 - 2014
  • Table 4 – BOL (Smart) mobile subscribers – 2015 - 2017
  • Table 5 – Historic - Fixed lines in service by operator and teledensity – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 6 – Fixed lines in service by operator and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 7 – TTC fixed lines in service – 2010- 2017
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service – 1995 - 2017
  • Table 9 – International bandwidth – 2001 - 2015
  • Table 10 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 11 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 12 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2001 - 2018
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Cable modem broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Fixed wireless internet subscribers – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 17 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 - 2009
  • Table 18 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 19 – Mobile voice subscriber market share by operator – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 20 – Average use of services per subscriber – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 21 – SMS traffic – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 23 – Mobile internet subscribers – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 24 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • Table 25 – Average mobile tariffs – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 26 – TTC mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 27 – Vodacom Tanzania subscribers – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 28 – Vodacom Tanzania data subscribers – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 29 – Vodacom Tanzania ARPU ($) – 2003 - 2014
  • Table 30 – Vodacom Tanzania ARPU (TZS) – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 31 – Airtel subscribers – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 32 – Millicom Tanzania mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 33 – Zantel mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 34 –Halotel mobile subscribers – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 35 – Mobile money subscriptions by operator– 2015 - 2018
  • Chart 1– Fixed lines in service by operator and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Mobile subscribers in Tanzania – 2005 - 2019
  • Exhibit 2 – Emergency rescue scheme for Lake Victoria

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