Sasatel launches WiMAX network in capital

20 Jan 2010

Tanzanian mobile and broadband start-up Dovetel Limited, trading as Sasatel, has launched a high speed wireless broadband service in the capital Dar es Salaam based on WiMAX technology. Local newspaper The Citizen Reporter writes that at launch the company plans to target large businesses as it carves out a niche for itself in the country’s fast-growing digital economy. Sasatel was created in 2009 and has promised not to pass on the installation costs to customers – in other words promising a ‘low cost’ broadband option to end users. It says it can do this thanks to its link to the Seacom fibre-optic cable which helps it effectively to eliminate its WiMAX investment costs. Commenting on the launch, Sasatel products director Thomas Andre Molvig said: ‘After launching our EV-DO internet services for small and medium-sized businesses in June last year, we [are now launching] WiMAX internet access to cater for [the] internet needs of large businesses and corporate customers," noted yesterday in Dar es Salaam.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in June 2009 Sasatel became the seventh company to provide mobile services in the country with the commercial launch of the new network in the capital Dar es Salaam. At launch its new network covered major parts of the city: the entire central business district, the Kariakoo area, Ilala, Mikocheni, Mbagala and Buguruni. Going forward, the operator said the new service would 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 added.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) licensed Dovetel in June 2008. 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.

Tanzania, Dovetel (Sasatel Tanzania)