The Tanzanian regulator the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) is to conduct a review of the country’s telecoms markets to assess the effectiveness of market competition, with a particular focus on economic, legal and technical aspects. Matters under discussion will include the network facilities and services on offer. Economic factors under review include liberalisation, competition, profitability, investment and issues about sovereignty and equity, while the main technical matters under the spotlight are ICT infrastructure, investment and setup, digital divide, spectrum availability, numbering capacity, interconnection, and the country’s internet exchange access. A press report from Dar es Salaam-based newspaper The Citizen says the study will also consider ways of ensuring that no single operator is allowed to control the ICT sector, as well as studying the high level of dynamism of the ICT sector and the impact that convergence brings to the local market. TCRA director-general John Nkhoma said: ‘Other issues to be considered include the wide recognition of the increasing role that ICT has and should have in the country’s social, economic and cultural development as well as the international trend of allowing service providers to operate in a competitive environment with a minimal regulatory intervention, except where competition is lacking.’ TCRA has floated tenders for eligible consultants to conduct the study.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of 2007 Tanzania was home to 8.488 million voice telephony customers, broken down as 8.252 million mobile users and 236,493 fixed telephony subscribers to national PTO Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL). In the mobile arena, the market was led by Vodacom with 3.870 million subscribers (a market share of 47.4%), followed by Celtel Tanzania with 2.505 million (30.1%), MIC Tanzania (Tigo) in third with 1.191 million users (14.3%) and fourth-placed Zantel with 684,214 (8.2%).