A rural mobile network, built by AMOTEL and the World Telecom Labs (WTL), is now active in 3 remote Tanzanian villages in the Mwanga District of the Kilimanjaro region.
The announcement was made during the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa conference on July 26th 2016.
None of these villages have ever been covered by any kind of telephone network before. Each village has a minimum of 1,500 people with Average Revenue per User (ARPU) of around USD2.5.
AMOTEL installed the Village Voice and Data (Vivada) system of WTL in each village. The system provides both GSM and wifi networks.
Each network has a radius of 12km to cover people living outside the village centers. Local engineers have been trained to manage the networks.
A cyber café and calling cabin have also been built in each village, while residents were encouraged to adopt mobile money and other transformative applications.
Robert Mabele, Board Chairman of AMOTEL, said “This is a major milestone both for AMOTEL and for Tanzanians in rural areas who want to be able to use their phones, tablets and computers in the same way as people living in more urban areas.”
AMOTEL’s networks were financed by the Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) as part of its USD9.6m investment to improve connectivity in Tanzania.
Following the success of these networks, AMOTEL hopes to connect another 50 villages over the next 6 months and 500 within 2 years. It is now looking for additional investment to fund these networks.
The Mkulima African Telecommunication Company (MTC), operating under the brand name AMOTEL is the first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in Tanzania.
The company’s goal is to provide excellent and affordable telecommunication services to low-income communities in rural and urban areas.
AMOTEL was established in 2015 with a mission to embrace new innovations and developments to serve low ARPU rural areas with little or no infrastructure.
The company estimates that the current mobile subscriber base is only 28m out of Tanzania’s total population of 50m.