Market share of telecoms operating in Tanzania

Telecommunication masts in Tanzania. PHOTO | FILE


  • Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom Tanzania and Smile gained more subscribers, while Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) and Halotel were on the losing side.

Dar es Salaam. Competition involving the six players in the Tanzania’ telecoms industry is toughening - a trend that has in turn led to a change of the market shares structure as of June 2022 compared to this time last year.

Going by the report of the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), in the process of battling for customers, four of the six telcos recorded an increase in subscription.

Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom Tanzania and Smile gained more subscribers, while Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) and Halotel were on the losing side.

Tigo gained 1.1 million new subscribers, beating the other five telcos, thanks to its merger with Zantel and the massive investment in customer touch points to ensure their services are aligned to their needs.

“Therefore, the addition of over 1milion customers cements the fact that we understand our customers’ needs and provide solutions accordingly,” said Tigo Chief Marketing Officer Edwardina Mgendi.

“Secondly, our sales and distribution channels are designed to reach our customers efficiently wherever they are in the country hence a good performance for Q2.”

In April this year, Axian Group of Madagascar in partnership with tycoon Rostam Aziz closed the acquisition of Tigo and Zantel in Tanzania at a cost of $100 million (Sh230 billion). As of June 2022, Airtel came next after Tigo in terms of attracting new subscribers, thanks to an increase in 547,063 new subscribers.

It was followed by Vodacom and Smile which garnered 455,146 and 968 new subscribers respectively.

On the losing side were TTCL and Halotel which lost 90,053 and 77,941 subscribers respectively.

Looking at a bigger picture, going by the report, the number of telcom subscriptions jumped to 56.2 million as of June this year, up from 53.2 million that was recorded during a similar period last year. Vodacom remained to be the market leader when it came to subscriptions market shares.

Its market share jumped to 31 percent as of June this year compared to 30 percent that was registered during a similar period last year.

Under the period of review, Airtel and Tigo tied for second place, after their market shares rose to 27 percent as of June 2022. During a similar period last year, Airtel and Tigo’s market shares were quoted at 26.6 percent and 24.5 percent respectively.

Despite its market shares going down to 12 percent from 14.3 percent, Halotel came third, followed by TTCL whose market share increased from 2.4 percent to three percent.

Like at the same quarter last year, Smile remained at the bottom, with its market shares going down to zero from 0.02 percent.

Airtel Tanzania managing director Dinesh Balsingh attributed his company’s attraction of new subscribers to nationwide rollout of Supa 4G network and affordable products.

“We have invested in Supa 4G network nationwide to deliver a faster, reliable internet experience to its customers,” Mr Balsingh told The Citizen yesterday.

The telco, he expounded, has set up over 2,000 Supa 4G sites in key towns and regions, which means there is consistent connectivity with no downtimes everywhere in the country.

Soon, he added, they will cover the entire country with 4G sites.

The Supa 4G network delivers fast internet speeds within 700 MHz and 1,800 MHz spectrums that enable fast downloads and uploads, HD-quality video streaming and a great internet browsing experience.

“To enable our customers to experience our unmatched 4G network, we are constantly innovating our products to deliver more value and enrich their lives,” recounted Mr Balsingh.

Citing an example of Bila tozo servic, he said Airtel reduced the total transaction charges by absorbing the cost of levy when sending and withdrawing money using Airtel Money up-to Sh29,999.

This, he said, was meant to make it easier for a common man to transact through mobile money.

Now, he further explained, customers could send or withdraw money without any additional cost due to levy.

TTCL director general Peter Ulanga said the telecommunication industry exhibits very stiff competition as statistics indicate that the industry is at its maturity stage.

 Out of an estimated 60 million Tanzanian, there are over 56 million subscribers across all operators.

Hence, Mr Ulanga expounded, there is less room for telcos to grow but rather compete for the same existing customers.

“Thus, all Telcos, TTCL inclusive, are subjected to a very stiff competition due to the nature and characteristic of the market,” he told The Citizen yesterday.

However, said Mr Ulanga, TTCL Corporation has over 97 percent market share of the data and internet market.

 This positions TTCL as a key strategic enabler of the industry growth.

With this position, TTCL focus on the year 2022/23 is to ensure that all telcos are facilitated with key infrastructures and services that will align the whole industry cost structure hence creating a new market growth room.

On why despite the stiff competition in the industry TTCL recorded an increase in the market share during the quarter ending June 2022 compared to a similar period last year, he said it was due to deliberate efforts by the corporation through strategic acquisition marketing initiatives undertaken.

On the question of 90,053 customers that TTCL was reported to have lost, he said they were dormant clients whose numbers were deliberately recycled by the corporation as per regulations.

He said the owners had not made any kind of communication for more than six months.

Going by the telecommunication regulations, all customers who have been dormant for over 90 days, their numbers need to be recycled and assigned to new users.

In another development, mobile money service subscriptions climbed to 37.4 million during the quarter ending June this year, up from 33.3 million registered during a similar period last year.

Again, Voda took the lead in market shares on subscriptions at 39 percent, followed by Tigo, Airtel, Halotel and TTCL at 26 percent, 22 percent, nine percent and four percent respectively.