Mobile network operator Vodacom Tanzania plans to invest TZS250 billion (USD159.1 million) in 2013, to build on the gains made this year. According to its chief executive officer Rene Meza, Vodacom Tanzania achieved 20% growth in FY2012 – despite strong competition – to retain its leading position in the market; TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database reports it had a 37.0% market share at end-September, ahead of second-placed Airtel with 32.0%.
Going forward, Meza says the new investment will be targeted at expanding its 2G and 3G network reach, increasing data download speeds and improving network clarity. The latest expansion will also result in the hiring of 300 new members of staff to augment the 500 permanent employees it already has.
Last month Vodacom Tanzania announced that the number of people signed up to its mobile money service M-PESA has passed the 4.4 million mark, representing around 48% of its total subscriber base in the country. The service, which allows users with a recognised ID card to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily through a mobile device, is seeing strong growth. In February this year Vodacom confirmed that the number of M-PESA users stood at 2.7 million users – or 23.4% of the base. At the time Rene Meza said: ‘about TZS35 billion is transacted daily through M-PESA and attributed this to the fact that the service is safe and reliable and is available throughout the country.’