National fixed and mobile operator Tanzania Telecommunications Limited (TTCL) is looking to secure a USD214.7 million credit facility as it gears up to launch its third privatisation attempt. The East African Business Week newspaper reports the TTCL workers’ union as saying last week that an unnamed Vietnamese firm has expressed interest in buying into the company. The reports come in the wake of a TTCL bid to recapitalise through a government loan guarantee to keep it afloat and competitive in the domestic market, whilst it organises the privatisation. The first two privatisations of TTCL ultimately ended in failure and the PTO is now back in the hands of Tanzanian staff and management.
The announcement by TTCL coincides with a report from the national regulator the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) that showed Tanzanians spent TZS555 billion (USD396 million) on phone calls in the July-September 2010 period. In addition, the watchdog notes that the country was home to more than 20.771 million fixed and (mainly) mobile connections by September 2010, served by one of seven operators namely: Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo, Zantel, TTCL, Sasatel and Benson Informatics (BOL). The report highlights that subscribers’ expenditure in the three-month period covers voice communications and short message services (SMS) and the TCRA estimates that on a per customer basis, average revenue per user (ARPU) for 3Q10 was TZS26,724.