Zain Tanzania, a unit of the Kuwaiti group Zain, yesterday launched what it claims is the country’s fastest 3.5G mobile internet service, the local Daily News reports. The unit’s managing director Mr Khaled Muhtadi, told reporters that the 3.5G technology will offer a theoretical maximum speed of 7Mbps over its mobile network, and will initially be available in the capital Dar es Salaam with other regions covered by the end of 2009. The ultra high speed internet service is currently available to Zain customers in parts of the city centre, Kariakoo and the Peninsular, he said.
The Tanzanian unit’s parent company has invested in excess of USD180 million this year in expanding and enhancing its network in Tanzania – including the HSDPA investment. In October this year Zain Tanzania said it was looking to increase its mobile subscriber base by 15% to 3.8 million by the end of the year. At that date, Mr Muhtadi said: ‘We have reached over 3.3 million customers today and our target is to exceed 3.8 million by the end of the year’. The Zain official went on to say that the key challenges facing the cellco in its bid for expansion were falling subscriber revenues (particularly from new customers), the high cost of handsets and the slow movement of equipment and supplies through the port and customs.