Vodacom Tanzania Plans Increased Investment

The managing director for Vodacom Tanzania, Rene Meza, has recently announced that his company will be investing nearly USD 100 million over the next twelve to eighteen months in improvements to the company’s mobile data business, new upgrades to network operations, agency recruitment, new technologies, new corporate services offerings and further development of the company’s financial distribution plan.

According to a report in The Citizen Tanzania, Mr. Meza, Meza, a member of the Global Telecoms Business 40 under 40 in 2011, indicated that the purpose of this Vodacom Tanzania investment is to help reinforce the company’s increasingly popular mobile money service, M-PESA.

Reports have indicated that Vodacom Tanzania, a South African owned company that is ultimately controlled by the Vodafone group, has registered more that 8 million customers in the last fifteen months, which represents an exponential growth at a rate of approximately 20,000 new users per day.

“The company’s growth is based on the fast expanding subscriber list, mobile financial services arena and voice services,” said Mr. Meza in a recently recorded interview with The Citizen Tanzania, “these are appropriate for an emerging economy like Tanzania.”

Mr. Meza went on to indicate that, in order to further strengthen the position of Vodacom Tanzania in the economic market, the company’s primary area of growth moving forward will be focused more on internet with particular attention being given to the continued expansion of their 3G network and to the country’s prominent mobile commerce sector.

To this end, in December of last year, Vodacom Tanzania granted Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) a five-year contract that would help the company modernize their mobile networks.  

According to information gathered from the TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the terms of the contract stipulate that NSN will replace Vodacom Tanzania’s existing GSM and 3G base transceiver stations (BTS) with a new single radio access network (RAN) platform.

The contract went on to specify that the new multi-technology RAN platform can be defined to implement a specific technology using a simple software  update and, in addition, can also operate GSM, HSPA and Long Term Evolution (LTE).

Furthermore, according to the terms of the contract, NSN agreed to supply a ‘liquid radio-based self-organizing network (SON)’ to Vodacom Tanzania to be used in their RAN and core network in addition to their NetAct powered network management solutions.

Finally, in an effort to expand coverage, Nokia Siemens Networks has also agreed to install additional GSM and 3G BTS and to utilize its software features to increase the size and effectiveness of the Vodacom Tanzania network.