Vietnam-based operator Viettel has reportedly been granted a licence to build and operate a 3G mobile network in Tanzania. The move will see the cellco compete with the country’s four largest wireless providers – Vodacom Tanzania, Airtel Tanzania, Millicom Tanzania and Zantel, currently holding 37.6%, 32.7%, 23.2% and 6% of the mobile subscriber total (over 28 million at end-June 2014), respectively, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. The network building is scheduled to commence on 1 November, with mobile services due to launch in July 2015, according to Reuters.
Tanzania’s deputy communication, science and technology minister, January Makamba, says Viettel plans to focus on providing coverage to around 4,000 villages in rural areas currently without a network, bringing 3G to consumers via a proposed 13,000km of fibre-optic cable. Makamba is also cited as saying the operator has been asked to ‘deliver fibre to 150 district hospitals, 150 district government offices, 65 post offices and 500 secondary schools.’