Dar es Salaam. The number of mobile telephone subscribers grew by 1.8 million between January and June, which is equivalent to 2.8 per cent when compared to the corresponding period of last year.
Compared to the first half of 2017, which started from July to December, all seven telecom operators in the country recorded a total of 658,729 subscriptions, which is an increase of 1.6 per cent.
Communications statistics report on mobile companies business trends usually cover between July of the ended year and June of the current year, the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) said.
After going through all four quarterly reports, the The Citizen discovered that the sharp rise in subscriptions started in March 2018 across all network operators.
TCRA statistics show that in the second half of the year, which ended in June, Tigo Tanzania was ahead of the pack after registering 897,447 new subscribers followed by Vodacom and Airtel with 450,099 and 267,050, respectively.
Halotel, which is among the latest entrants in the telecom industry, managed to rope in 102,867 voice subscribers while TTCL, the oldest telecom company in the country, added 125,947 subscribers to its base.
Zantel managed to bring in 35,787 subscribers while Smart added 484 customers only.
According to the TCRA report, the first half of last year, which started from July to December, was tough for four telecom operators following a huge loss of their subscribers.
Tigo lost a total of 359,217 voice subscribers followed by Halotel (188,655), Smart (43,956) and TTCL loss (466,588).
While the four companies suffered losses during that period, Airtel Tanzania saw an increase of 395,742 voice subscriptions followed by Zantel (38,838) and Vodacom (59,542) after improving some services.
The communication watchdog, however, in its last report of the year, which ended in June 2018, showed that the number of active subscribers stood at 41,833,834, a huge increase since the mobile companies started their operations in the country.
Speaking to The Citizen recently, the TCRA’s teletraffic unit head, Dr Emmanuel Manasseh, said the telecom operators have recorded better performance this year.
Dr Manasseh added that the number of data users has also grown significantly and called upon the companies to continue improving their services to attract more customers.
“We want them to invest more in mobile data in order to attract more customers. They should also start considering the rural areas market,” he opined.
He said figures show that the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is increasingly growing fast.
Commenting on the rise of subscriptions, the Vodacom Tanzania director of corporate affairs, Ms Rosalynn Mworia, said: “Our outstanding performance this year has been underpinned by good execution of network investment, customer value management, promotional offers, M-Pesa management and data monetisation.”
Ms Mworia added that despite a competitive market, Vodacom has registered a strong performance in all three focus areas namely network expansion, monetising data though segmented offers and promoting smartphone adoption, and optimising data services.
According to her, the company has also specialised in offering a wide variety of innovative products and offerings across voice, data and messaging services, which cater for all customer needs.
“For example, our recent service, Just4You, is unique as it offers customised bundles to our customers based on their usage.
In addition, she said Vodacom has many value added services to cater for all market segments.
Ms Mworia said M-Pesa has been a success and continues to serve as an important revenue and reputation driver for Vodacom.
“Now GSMA certified and with over eight million users, M-Pesa has significantly increased financial inclusion in the country,” she said.
“Another winning area where Vodacom Tanzania stands out is customer service. We boast a strong lead on Net Promoter Score (NPS) against other competitors and continue to maintain the brand and market leadership.”
Besides, she said the company was determined to transform fortunes of Tanzanians through the use of technology.