MIC Tanzania, which offers mobile services in the country under the Tigo brand of its parent Millicom International Cellular (MIC), has signed a contract with Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies to develop smartphones and hopefully boost take-up in Tanzania. As a result, the carrier aims to provide its more than 6.2 million subscribers with access to affordable devices designed by the Chinese firm.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Tanzania’s mobile market is hotly contested by a number of well-established operators – many with the backing of international heavyweights – and a number of newly licensed players with aspirations to make their mark in the industry. The leading player in a segment that boasted a total of 27.75 million users at 31 March 2014, up from 27.44 million a year earlier, was Vodacom Tanzania, backed by South Africa’s Vodacom Group with a 37.7% share of the overall market, ahead of Airtel Tanzania (formerly Zain, and owned by Bharti Airtel of India) with 32.5%. Third spot was claimed by MIC Tanzania, with 22.6%, and fourth place was held by Zanzibar Telecommunication (Zantel) – majority owned by UAE-based Etisalat – with 6.6%. The only other active retail cellco is Tanzania Telecommunication Company Ltd’s (TTCL’s) CDMA-based mobile arm (0.6%).