Zantel to expand to rural areas


Zantel Tanzania has set aside $70 million (Tsh 110.74 billion) investment plan to expand its network to the rural areas, a move which is expected to increase competition among the mobile phone operators in the country.

The progress comes at a time when other mobile phone operators including Vodacom, Airtel and Tigo Tanzania were recently quoted by the local media as saying that they intend to expand to rural areas, seeking for new market to boost their subscriber base.

Zantel's Chief Executive Officer, Ali Jarsh said that their rural areas investment plan aimed at boosting wireless communication technology, 3G, mobile broadband and internet services networking. "This will see Zantel earn 20% market share in the next two years from the currently 7%," Jarsh said, which his mobile phone company currently have two million subscribers.

Jarsh said that the two year's investment plan would also enable the mobile phone operator to rope in six million subscribers in Tanzania. "We are expecting the investment would enable Zantel to achieve its target of controlling 20% market share in the next two years, equivalent to the increase of 13%," he said.

According to him, Zantel has already invested over $150 million (Tsh 237 billion) in the mainland since started operation in the country. "We have charted out strategies, to make sure that we narrow the market gap with other competitors in the mobile phone industry as well as internet services," he explained. Besides network expansion plan, the mobile phone operator which mainly based in Zanzibar said that it has also reduced the tariff to enable its subscribers to enjoy calling each other with affordable rate.

The mobile phone's chief commercial officer and senior vice president for the Etisalat Group, Ahmed Mokhles said that the offer was designed to offer maximum value over voice, data and SMS and reducing prices of making calls.
"Apart from free calls and reduced tariffs in SMS, we are now offering free 50MB for internet users in a move that aims at taking the telecom industry to a new level," he said.