GSMA says power of technology crucial to deliver socio-economic change

11Feb 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
GSMA says power of technology crucial to deliver socio-economic change

THERE is greater need to deliver connectivity in African countries especially developing countries like Tanzania said GSMA, the umbrella body that oversees telecom operators worldwide.

Vodacom Tanzania Plc’s acting Managing Director, Hisham Hendi. Photo: courtesy of Vodacom.

In a statement, GSMA said dependence on mobile networks technology to deliver requisite connectivity to millions of citizens and companies are the key to growth of the telecoms industry that will create an enabling environment for social and economic benefits that accrue from use of the technology.

Last year the entire mobile phone market in sub-Saharan Africa grew by 7.4 percent signifying GSMA projections on the increase in overall penetration of mobile phones as a result of cutting-edge technologies such as 4G, that is also being rolled out in major cities in the country.

The 2017 GSMA report indicated that there are around 747 million SIM connections in the Sub-Sahara African countries and that the figure is expected to increase to over 1 billion and connectivity growth is expected to rise to 84 percent from 75 percent by 2025.

In the same breath, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) in its December 2018 quarterly report, said investment in technology has paid off with Vodacom Tanzania Plc continuing to lead the pack in terms of market share, voice, SMS traffic, subscription and mobile money.

In addition, the company’s subscriber base grew by 1.13 million representing 32 percent of the market share maintaining its pole position in the market.

“Vodacom is continuously upgrading and addressing the needs of the growing population of Tanzania and has expanded to 2951 2G sites, 2232 3G sites, 539 4G and over 504 G+sites offering an 90 percent superior network covering the largest proportion of the connected population,” said the company’s acting Managing Director, Hisham Hendi in an interview.

With the majority of the people living in rural areas, and approximately 13 million being completely unconnected, internet connectivity is an integral aspect of life in urban cities.

“We at Vodacom believe in ensuring that we directly touch the lives of all Tanzanians, that transformational power of connectivity will eventually bring about socio-economic benefits in areas such as education, financial services, healthcare and bridging the gender divide while uplifting and improving the lives of rural communities,” Hendi added.

Last year M-Pesa celebrated its 10th anniversary with creation of an ecosystem consisting of over 106,000 agents who transact roughly 110bn/- daily which has propelled many first-time entrepreneurs and users to become part of the formal financial system.

The acting Vodacom MD further noted that smartphone adoption continues to see rapid growth in the region, with the company pushing for 4G and 3G gadgets as well as rolling out 4G noting that investment in technology and robust strategies are drivers for growth in telecom industry.

“Smartphone adoption is helping to drive strong growth in data traffic across Tanzania. We are pushing 4G mobile phones to our customers while investing a substantial amount of revenue in the installation of 4G sites. In Dar es Salaam, we have installed 183 new sites and 200 more throughout the country. TCRA has added L700 spectrum to allow expansion of 4G network to Mbeya, Mwanza and other major cities,” Hendi explained.




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