Dar es Salaam. Mobile internet subscribers in the country surpassed the 27-million mark at the end of September amid growing public dependency on the internet for executing day-to-day activities, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
The latest data from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) showed that the number of mobile internet subscribers stood at 27,900,069 at the end of September this year from 26,832,089 users recorded at the end of the first quarter, in March.
That is an increase of over a million users (1,067,980) in the period of nine months, according to the quarterly communication statistics report by the regulator.
The highest number of new internet subscribers was recorded in the last quarter from July to September where 800,000 new users joined the World Wide Web.
As a result of the new addition to September, the subscriber base of the seven mobile phone operators in the country increased by a slight 0.66 percent to 49,215,857 within a span of three months from July.
Telecom operators in Tanzania include Vodacom, Tigo, Airtel, Halotel, Zantel, TTCL and Smile.
The TCRA statistics showed that the country had advanced significantly in the three quarters of 2020, as by the end of the first quarter in March this year there were 26,832,089 internet users. People’s reliance on internet has grown exponentially after the Covid-19 outbreak early this year.
A majority started using the internet more than ever to purchase grocery items, to stay in touch with relatives as well as for official purposes.
Though the government declared that the country is currently corona-free, a digital revolution in internet usage has already taken place in the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
New Digital 2020 October Global Statshot Report showed that half of world population; over 5.2 billion people are using mobile phones with 4.66 billion of them using the gadget to access internet. The report also showed that 450 million people started using social media in the last year which is regarded as annual growth of more than 12 percent.
“Much of the quarter or the whole year’s success has happened because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The world had almost nothing to do and social media became that last savior to keep the world connected during the difficult times,” the report commended.
In managing the online content sharing, TCRA issued updated The Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2020, in July with provisions for online contents providers.
The regulations are around areas such as sexuality and decency, personal privacy and human dignity, public security, violence and national safety as well as criminal and illegal trade activities.
TCRA head of licensing Andrew Kisaka told The Citizen in an interview that, “New regulations also have outlined and described prohibited issues in order to increase citizen’s awareness and increase compliance”.
Others prohibition were made on health and public safety, protection of intellectual property rights, respect to religion and personal beliefs, public information that may cause havoc and disorder, use of foul language and disparaging words as well as false, untrue and misleading content.