Data just released by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) shows that the country was home to a total of 25.827 million fixed and mobile subscriptions at the end of 2011, up from 21.158 million a year earlier. Of the total subscriptions recorded at end-2011 25.666 million were cellular connections to one of the country’s leading mobile operators. Market leader Vodacom closed out 2011 with a total of 11.625 million mobile users (although around 19% are classed as inactive), while second-placed Airtel (formerly Zain) signed up a net 972,000 new users in the period for a total of 6.993 million. Third place operator Tigo boosted its base by 973,000 to 5.450 million by the end of 2011, and Zantel Mobile — once the nation’s fastest growing cellco — shed roughly 191,000 net customers during the period for a total of 1.524 million. Trailing far behind the big four, the mobile arm of fixed line operator Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) had just 96,000 subscribers and Benson Informatics Limited (BOL) had 1,558 data-only subscribers, down roughly 5,000 since the start of the year.
In the fixed line segment, TCRA reported 161,063 fixed lines in service as at 31 December 2011, down from 174,000 at the start of the year. National PSTN operator TTCL claimed the lion’s share with 159,364 lines at end-2011 (its December 2010 figure was 159,100) with Zanzibar Telecommunications’ (Zantel’s) fixed line division taking the remaining 1,699, down from around 15,000 previously