Seventh mobile operator has launched operations in Tanzania

Telecoms

Telecom operator Dovetel Limited last week lunched under the brand name Sasatel as the seventh company to provide mobile telephony services in the country. Sasatel said in a statement in Dar es Salaam that the rollout of its network would be undertaken in phases.

The initial rollout covers major parts of the city: the entire central business district, the Kariakoo area, Ilala, Mikocheni, Mbagala and Buguruni. Later it will be expanded to other parts of the country.

The initial network coverage is also enhanced by towers at Changanyikeni, University of Dar es Salaam, Mbezi Tangibovu, Kwa Komba, Oysterbay, the Ubungo Bus Terminal area, Tabata Dampo, Vingunguti, Tazara, Kwa Simba, Karakata, the Julius Nyerere International airport, Yombo Vituka, Temeke, Sabasaba, Kigamboni, Msasani Peninsula, Sinza, Mwenge and Kawe.

"In the next phase of network expansion, the company will cover the rest of Dar es Salaam and all other major cities in Tanzania," the statement said. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) licensed Dovetel in June last year.

Prof Peter Chitamu, a Tanzanian citizen who teaches telecommunication in South Africa, founded it in 2005. The firm, whose operations are funded through PME Infrastructure Fund that has a 65 per cent stake in the business, has a licence for voice and data services, Internet service provision as well as international gateway services.

TCRA director-general John Nkoma said last month that by last year there were about 13 million Simcards in use in Tanzania. Vodacom Tanzania accounted for 41 per cent of the market share followed by Zain which has nearly 30 per cent and Tigo with 20 per cent. TCRA statistics showed that Zantel, TTCL Mobile and Benson Informatics accounted for eight, two and 0.023 per cent of the market respectively.

Sasatel said that with a CDMA network, it would provide high speed Internet connection and offer pre-paid bundles that would be charged on monthly. "Right now, we can offer fixed wireless phones that have Internet connectivity capabilities as well as mobile phones at attractive prices. All our fixed wireless phones have data capabilities," managing director and chief marketing officer Christopher Haeger noted in the statement.

Marketing and public relations manager Derick Byarugaba said the company would soon be able to supply WiFi enabled Internet routers and broadband EVDO modems for high speed Internet connections.

The Citizen