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Tanzania Aims to Connect 8 Million Citizens to Broadband Alongside Mobile Network Operators

With an aim to achieve 80 per cent broadband penetration by 2025, the Tanzanian government, supported by the World Bank, has partnered with a number of mobile network operators to begin project ‘Digital Tanzania’. The government aims to see the extension of broadband services to 1,407 villages – benefiting over eight million Tanzanians across the country.

H.E. President Suluhu of Tanzania said: “This project will see all 26 regions across Tanzania’s mainland reached with quality and reliable telecommunication services compared to Zanzibar which was wholly covered in November 2022.

H.E. President Suluhu of Tanzania
H.E. President Suluhu of Tanzania

“The presence of services is of great significance not only in rural areas but also in town areas as it accelerates development and inclusion politically, socially, and economically as well as for the safety and security of the nation. The implementation of this project is in line with the government’s commitment to improve telecommunication services and facilitate youth with opportunities in the ICT sector”.

The President also noted the government plans to change and expand the usage of feature phones to smartphones given the availability and assurance of quality communication services. The health sector, specifically telemedicine, should also see significant improvement. Suluhu has also commended the excellent implementation of the ‘m-mama’ program in partnership with the Vodacom Tanzania Foundation which has remarkably decreased the maternal mortality rate across Tanzania.

Philip Besiimire, managing director at Vodacom Tanzania Plc, said: “Over the years we have built thousands of sites across the country out of which 3,429 are 2G sites; 3,066 are 3G; 2,315 are 4G and last year we introduced the country’s first 5G network whereas to date we have built 231 sites in Tanzania’s mainland and Zanzibar, connecting Tanzanians, and reaching a broadband coverage of 93 per cent of the population. We continue to strengthen our network by widening our broadband coverage and modernising our 2G sites to meet modern world demands”.

Connecting Tanzania 
Philip Besiimire, managing director at Vodacom Tanzania Plc
Philip Besiimire, managing director at Vodacom Tanzania Plc

Vodacom has built 296 sites, reaching around 300 wards, and connected over 3.6 million Tanzanians to mobile services such as voice, data, and M-Pesa.

“To pick one example, we transformed the lives of the villagers in Mundarara, a mining town in Longido district, Arusha region, where communication infrastructure was absent. It was achieved through facilitating access to GSM services, broadband, and M-Pesa services thus driving financial inclusion through access to not only peer-to-peer (P2P) services but also savings, loans, and other life-changing opportunities,” explained Besiimire.

Vodacom Tanzania plans to extend its reach to approximately 4.1 million people; equivalent to 3.7 per cent of Vodacom’s network coverage. By the completion of this project, Vodacom will have connected 8,179,367 Tanzanians, allowing them to participate in the digital economy.

Author

  • Tom joined The Fintech Times in 2022 as part of the operations team; later joining the editorial team as a journalist.

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