National telecoms regulator the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has released its market report for the three months ended 30 September 2012, showing that the total number of active SIMs declined to 25.928 million from 28.024 million three months earlier. In its notes, however, the TCRA said that the drop was largely the result of a change in methodology in the way it counts an ‘active’ user, with the definition changing to ‘within the last 90 days’ for Q3 2012, from the previous classification of ‘within the last 215 days’.
Under the change, the biggest loser is Vodacom Tanzania which reported 12.317 million mobile users at 30 June – a figure that had been cut to 8.967 million three months later. Note: TeleGeography routinely adjusted Vodacom’s figure in the past to reflect the cellco’s high proportion of ‘inactive’ users (i.e. circa. 19%) and the TCRA has now seemingly formalised its own position to use the more traditional 90-day cut-off period.