Mobile operator Vodacom Tanzania has awarded Cambridge Broadband a radio transmission equipment contract to backhaul traffic from both mobile and data networks, including GSM, 3G and WiMAX sites. The UK-based vendor has already begun deploying its VectaStar wireless transmission equipment for Vodacom, with commercial operations scheduled to begin before the end of 2006. The new network, which comprises a flexible, scalable point-to-multipoint radio transmission system that can be used for cellular backhaul traffic, will operate in the 10.5GHz spectrum band and at launch will cover the areas of Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi and Mwanza.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Vodacom Tanzania was awarded a GSM licence in December 1999. It launched services in August 2000 and swiftly become the market leader. The company has since managed to reinforce its dominant position, easily signing up over 200,000 net new subscribers per quarter in the year to June 2006. Its current offerings consist of Vodago (pre-paid), Vodachoice (post-paid) and Vodatariffa, an SMS based information service. The cellco also provides a public payphone service, Simu Ya Watu, or People’s Phone. Vodacom launched an interactive voice response (IVR) system in 2006 to improve customer service levels. Customers can now be served in two languages, Kiswahili and English. South Africa-based Vodacom Group owns a 65% interest in Vodacom Tanzania. Two local shareholders, Planetel Communications Limited and Caspian Construction Limited hold the remaining 16% and 19% respectively.