Tanzania’s Daily News reports that mobile operator Airtel Tanzania has expanded its GSM network coverage with the launch of a new communication tower in the village of Sigunga, in Uvinza district (Kigoma region). The move forms part of the cellco’s plans to improve coverage in the upcountry areas of western Tanzania – particularly serving rural districts.
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%).