Halotel has the best internet speed in Tanzania : Research

Experts call for reduced bundle prices, further cutting of costs of buying smart phones to expand usage. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Halotel’s business director Abdallah Salum has attributed the telco’s internet speed to the investment and thought-out strategies

Dar es Salaam. With 29.8 million people, or nearly half of Tanzania’s population, subscribing to internet services, new research shows that Halotel has the country’s fastest mobile internet.

Ookla, which owns and operates the popular speedtest.net Internet speed testing service, has published its latest Speedtest Global Index rankings for Tanzania for the first quarter of 2022, which shows that Halotel has outperformed big telecom companies like Vodacom Tanzania and Airtel in the mobile segment.

Halotel offered by far the fastest median download speed in Q1 of 2022 at 17.84 Megabytes per second (Mbps) followed by Vodacom (12.09 Mbps), Airtel (10.6 Mbps), TTCL (10.4 Mbps).

Tigo Tanzania and its sister company Zantel were revealed to have a median download speed of 5.99 Mbps and 4.31 Mbps respectively.

Halotel’s business director Abdallah Salum has attributed the telco’s internet speed to the investment and thought-out strategies. “We have for the past three years directed focus and strategies into expanding internet services coverage in Tanzania,” he said.

Mr Salum said with nearly 30 percent of the customers using 4G the company plans to increase the numbers to at least 60 percent by the end of the year.

“This is partly propelled by the increase of digital access in Tanzania and the rising market demand, thus more of the company investments will be directed towards infrastructure in efforts to increase and upgrade Base Transceiver Station (BTS),” he said. “From where we have 2G we plan to upgrade to 3G and for areas with 3G we will upgrade with 4G,” he added.

Halotel also got the highest Consistency Score, of 80.1 percent, ahead of second-placed Vodacom on 72.1 percent. This score shows the percentage of speed test results that achieved a minimum 5Mbit/s download and 1Mbit/s upload speed.

TTCL has a consistency score of 67.5 percent, Airtel with 67.2 percent, while Tigo and Zantel have 48.9 percent and 37.4 percent respectively.

Mr Salum added that while the telecommunication industry remains competitive, the majority of the companies have increased their investment in internet services.

“There is an increase of demand as more people have access to electronic devices and people’s demand for internet services have also improved coupled with different government strategies,” he said.

On Wednesday this week the second fastest mobile internet service provider according to the report, Vodacom Tanzania, signed a $10.8 million (near Sh25 billion) deal with National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) to allow the former to use government-owned fibre optics cable infrastructure.

The deal was inked by Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) director general Mr Peter Ulanga and Vodacom’s managing director Sitholizwe Mdlalose to improve voice, data traffic across lake, central and southern regions of Tanzania. “This announcement comes to reiterate our commitment as a company to the Tanzania digitilisation agenda, and respond to the growing demand for digital services in the country,” said Mr Mdlalose.

TTCL boss Ulanga said: “I believe the leased infrastructure to Vodacom will enhance the usage of ICT applications for sustainable socio-economic development including implementation of e-government, e-learning, e-health, e-commerce and much more locally and globally.”

According to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TCRA) the national strategy aims to make Tanzania the digital economy hub in East and Central Africa, thus internet speed and access are a top priority. “At the moment Tanzania provides one of the cheapest internet services in Africa,” said TCRA director general Jabiri Bakari, adding that the national fibre optic cable plans are in the pipeline to improve network access beyond Tanzania.

According to the speed test report, median latency for top mobile internet providers in Tanzania during Q1 2022 puts Vodacom at the top with the lowest latency at 23 ms.

The network latency refers to the delay users experience as data makes a round trip through the network.

With the highest internet speed, Halotel lagged behind its peers recording the highest latency at 31ms followed by Airtel at 29ms and Tigo at 28ms while Zantel has 27ms.

The Speedtest Global Index compares internet speed data from around the world on a monthly basis. Data for the Index comes from the hundreds of millions of tests taken by real people using Speedtest every month. From January 1, 2019, onward, countries must have at least 300 unique user test results for mobile or fixed broadband in the reported month to be included in the Index.