Government sticks to guns on SIM registration deadline

3 Jun 2010

The government of Tanzania is adamant that the deadline for registering SIM cards in the country is 30 June and warned yesterday that anyone failing to comply with the order will see their service cut off. Local newspaper The Citizen quotes the Communications, Science and Technology Minister Peter Msolla as saying that after the deadline, all new mobile SIM connections will be registered at the point of purchase. Tanzania launched its registration scheme in mid-2009 with a view to completing the process by 31 December, however the scheme was subsequently extended to 30 June 2010. The minister confirmed too that, some 10.2 million people had successfully registered their SIM cards by March.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Tanzania was home to 16.592 million mobile subscribers by the end of March 2010, with the country’s five cellcos collectively adding 328,820 net new subscribers in the first three months of this year. Market leader Vodacom claimed a market share of 35.3% at that date, while second-placed Zain had 30.4% of the pie. Third place operator Tigo commanded a further 24.6% of users, and Zantel Mobile — once the nation’s fastest growing cellco — had 9.0%. Trailing far behind the big four, the mobile arm of fixed line operator TTCL had 0.7%.