In the past five years, mobile subscriptions in Tanzania rose by 21%, from 39.7 million in 2014 to almost 48.1 million in 2019. With a population of 56 million, mobile penetration reached 86% in 2019.

There are eight mobile network operators (MNOs) in Tanzania: Airtel, Smart, Smile, Halotel, Tigo, TTCL, Vodacom, and Zantel.

Vodacom holds the largest market share of the mobile market with 31%, followed by Airtel (27%), Tigo (26%), Halotel (13%), Zantel (2%), TTCL (1%), and Smile (0.002%).

So far, mobile operators have invested around USD 2.6 billion in Tanzania. Investments are primarily focused on network infrastructure which is driving mobile broadband coverage expansion.

Tanzania Mobile Internet Network: 4G/3G/2G Services

Tanzania mobile internet penetration has nearly quadrupled from 2010 to 2018, to reach 18.5%, with more than eight million new mobile internet subscribers added over that period.

Despite this growth, two-fifths of the country’s population still remain offline and excluded from the socioeconomic benefits of the internet, and around a fifth of the population, representing 11 million people, are not covered by a mobile broadband network.

The most common broadband service in Tanzania is given through 2G connections, which offers a speed of up to 0.3 Mbps and is used by 90% of the mobile subscribers in Tanzania.

In the end of 2018, 3G and 4G networks covered around 61% and 28% of Tanzania’s population respectively.

Digital Tanzania Program

The World Bank (WB) sponsored the Digital Tanzania Program which aims to assist the country to harness its digital potential and ensure that all citizens have access to high-quality, low-cost connectivity, that public services are easily accessible online, and that the digital economy is driving growth, innovation, and job creation.

The Program will be delivered in two phases:

Phase I (2018–2022) will focus on strengthening Tanzania’s core Digital Foundations – closing the connectivity gap, increasing market competitiveness and investment, and strengthening digitally enabled service delivery infrastructure and capacity within the government.

Phase II (2021–2026) will focus on Tanzania’s digital acceleration – leveraging improved connectivity and enhanced capacity for public digital service delivery to accelerate the growth of the digital economy, encourage private and public innovation utilizing digital technology, and support the expansion of digital public services offerings across key sectors.

Phases I and II will involve significant collaboration with other stakeholders, including mobile operators and the private sector.

Sources: GSMA, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), World Bank (WB)
Last Update: 22 September 2020

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