Tanzanian telecoms operator Dovetel Limited, trading as Sasatel, has become the seventh company to provide mobile services in the country, local newspaper The Citizen reports. In a press release the company announced the commercial launch of the new network in the capital Dar es Salaam, adding that the rollout of its infrastructure would be carried out in phases. At launch its network covers major parts of the city: the entire central business district, the Kariakoo area, Ilala, Mikocheni, Mbagala and Buguruni. Going forward, the service will be expanded to other parts of the country. ‘In the next phase of network expansion, the company will cover the rest of Dar es Salaam and all other major cities in Tanzania,’ the statement read. ‘Dovetel is committed to roll out a network with full coverage in Dar es Salaam in the first phase followed by Arusha and other regions in the second phase,’ it went on to say.
National telecoms regulator the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) licensed Dovetel in June last year. It was founded by local entrepreneur Prof Peter Chitamu in 2005 with funding from the Infrastructure Fund which has a 65% stake in the business. Sasatel has a licence for voice and data services, internet service provision and international gateway services. It will offer services over a CDMA network providing high speed internet connections and the option of pre-paid packages. ‘Right now, we can offer fixed-wireless phones that have internet connectivity capabilities as well as mobile phones at attractive prices. All our fixed-wireless phones have data capabilities,’ managing director and chief marketing officer Christopher Haeger said. Marketing and public relations manager Derick Byarugaba added that the company would soon be offering Wi-Fi enabled routers and broadband EV-DO modems for high speed internet access.
In a separate story, the TCRA has reminded mobile phone subscribers that anyone failing to register their SIM card by the end of 2009 will not be able to access the country’s communications system. ‘Come 1 January 2010, unregistered subscribers will not be able to dial, receive phone calls or send and receive messages using their mobile phones," Ms Connie Francis, a senior officer of the TCRA, told The Citizen. The registration process begins next week and is designed to stop misuse of mobile phones in the country.