Vodafone Group’s Tanzanian arm is to invest USD100 million in its mobile network expansion this year, according to Georgia Mutagahywa, head of corporate affairs at Vodacom Tanzania, cited by Bloomberg. The rural population is ‘where growth will come from in the next decade,’ said Mutagahywa – suggesting this is where the investment will be targeted – before adding that the operator also hopes to increase the subscriber base of its mobile money service M-Pesa by 25% by the end of 2015. With regard to 4G services, Vodacom Tanzania is not expecting a launch anytime soon, although Mutagahywa claimed: ‘Rollout will commence once Vodacom acquires spectrum … We are modernising our core and transport network in preparation for full LTE services in readiness for spectrum availability.’
TeleGeography understands that the operator’s USD100 million investment figure is an updated calculation from the USD79.7 million figure reported by CommsUpdate in February this year. At the time CommsUpdate noted Vodacom’s plan to upgrade its 2G and 3G networks, with a particular focus on expanding rural coverage and partnering with the government to develop agricultural activity. Vodacom managing director Rene Meza said that its M-Pesa mobile money service would also receive renewed investment, noting that the platform served more than six million users at that date.