Data just released by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) shows that the country was home to a total of 17.642 million fixed and mobile subscriptions at the end of 2009, up from 13.130 million a year earlier, a combined teledensity of 43% (32%, 2008). Of the total subscriptions recorded at end-2009 17.469 million were cellular connections to one of the country’s leading mobile operators. Market leader Vodacom attracted 1.475 million new users last year for a total of 6.883 million, while second-placed Zain (Celtel) signed up a net 1.048 million new users in the period for a total of 4.910 million. Zain, however, failed to reach its own stated goal of six million customers by the end of last year. Third place operator Tigo boosted its base to 4.178 million by the end of 2009, and Zantel Mobile — once the nation’s fastest growing cellco — added roughly 300,000 net new customers during the period for a total of 1.378 million. Trailing far behind the big four, the mobile arm of fixed line operator TTCL added just 10,000 subscribers for a total of 115,681, and Benson Informatics Limited (BOL), which lost 300 subscribers in 2008, had 3,101 data-only subscribers, up 101 since the start of the year.
In the fixed line segment, TCRA reported 172,922 fixed lines in service as at 31 December 2009, up from 123,809 at the start of the year, but only marginally higher than the 163,269 counted at 31 December 2007. National PSTN operator Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) claimed the lion’s share with 157,321 lines at end-2009 (its December 2008 figure was 116,265 after it disconnected a number of active lines), with Zanzibar Telecommunications’ (Zantel’s) fixed line division taking the remainder.