Tanzania’s mobile phone subscriptions rise to nearly 44m

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Vendors of mobile phone cards stand behind their stands at the "Computer village", a market for mobile phones, second-hand computers, and other electronic items, 23 April 2007 in Lagos (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)
Vendors of mobile phone cards stand behind their stands at the “Computer village”, a market for mobile phones, second-hand computers, and other electronic items, 23 April 2007 in Lagos (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

Dar es Salaam (Reuters) Tanzania’s mobile phone subscriptions rose to 43.67 million in the three months ending in June, a 4.7 per cent increase from a year earlier, an official report showed on Wednesday.

The state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) said the number of internet users in the East African country rose to 23.14 million in June, up from 22.99 million a year ago.

The estimated 2019 population of Tanzania is 58.01 million, up from the 2014 estimate of 50.8 million, ranking 25th in the world.

The agency said that the number of people using mobile money transfers rose to 22.9 million in second quarter from 20.8 million previously.

Vodacom Tanzania, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Vodacom Group, remained the market leader for both mobile phone subscribers and mobile money transfers.

As in many other African countries, mobile phone use has surged in Tanzania over the past decade, underpinned by the availability of cheaper smartphones.

Vodacom Tanzania increased its share of the mobile phone subscription market share slightly to 33 per cent  from 32 per cent.

Other major mobile operators in Tanzania include Tigo, part of Sweden’s Millicom with a 27 per cent market share, Airtel, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel on 26per cent and Halotel, owned by Vietnam’s Viettel, with 10 per cent.

Vodacom Tanzania also holds a 41 per cent share of the country’s thriving mobile money business, which handled transactions worth 8.3 trillion Tanzanian shillings ($3.6 billion) in June, according to TCRA.

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