Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), working in partnership with its preferred equipment supplier Huawei Technologies, has announced the launch of its new ‘4.5G’ LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in the country. In a launch ceremony Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication Prof. Faustino Kamuzora, said: ‘I would like to urge other companies and the public at large to give their full support to TTCL as a way of supporting government efforts in making the telecom firm the market leader in Tanzania.’ Whilst details of the coverage of the new LTE-A network were not disclosed – although the assumption is Dar es Salaam – the minister did say: ‘We believe both 4G and 4.5G will contribute effectively to TTCL and make the company achieve its business strategic objectives, whereby, Huawei will also introduce the fixed broadband solutions that can be the powerful engine for TTCL revenue.’
In August this year TTCL set out its stall to deploy 4G LTE services countrywide by 2018, as the operator strives to resurrect its fortunes by providing high quality and modern services. The operator – now under the full control of the government – intends to accelerate coverage, with company spokesman Nicodemus Mushi saying at the time that it would soon ‘connect public institutions, civil society organisations (CSOs) and individual users with 4G LTE super-fast internet to ease their telecommunications’. Mr. Mushi highlighted a number of regions that will benefit from the initiative in phase one, namely: Arusha, Iringa, Mbeya, Dodoma, Morogoro, Mtwara, Mwanza, Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Unguja. ‘Through our strategic business plan we intend to increase our presence in the market by ensuring that we offer unmatched quality services and increase accountability and efficiency,’ he said.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, TTCL launched its 4G LTE mobile data network in December 2015 with a five-year rollout plan to cover all regions and main roads in the country. Last month it announced it was installing 50 additional LTE cell sites in Dar es Salaam to improve data speeds and coverage. The deployment will take TTCL’s total number of LTE sites to 75, with the company’s Acting Head of Business, Jane Mwakalebela, cited at the time as saying: ‘We started by launching eleven sites in the city, then we rolled out 14 other sites, but the demand is very big. We are embarking on launching the same service to [an] additional 50 sites in the city.’ Following the expansion, TTCL plans to introduce 4G technology to the regions, while Mwakalebela also noted that the operator is making its final preparations ahead of introducing LTE voice services.