Hits Plans US$500 Million Investment in Tanzania’s Mobile Market

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

New mobile phone operator Hits Tanzania Ltd plans to invest US$500 million in its countrywide coverage within 13 months. The firm's CEO Gerhard May, said Hits is targeting a network capacity for initial two million customers in the same period.

The firm has already signed a $180 million deal with its strategic partner Huawei Technologies of China to set up its network in the country.

According to May, the two partners have started work on the network infrastructure as well as on construction works for the mobile switching centre and the firm's headquarters in Dar es Salaam. He added that the firm chose to invest in Tanzania because of the potential market, given the low penetration of mobile phones.

Hits becomes the sixth mobile phone operator to enter Tanzania after Celtel Tanzania, Vodacom Tanzania, Tigo Tanzania, Zantel Tanzania and the Tanzania Telecommunications Company. Hits Tanzania is financially backed by Hits Africa - an arm of Hits Telecoms Holding based in Kuwait - and local investor Jitco.

Hits Africa is rolling out a series of telecommunications operations in Africa and has obtained GSM licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea and is a shareholder in Atlantic Telecom of Liberia.

Hits Africa will be the second national telecoms operator in Equatorial Guinea, after being picked by the government to establish a converged fixed, mobile and data network throughout the country by 2009. It will roll out 2.5G and 3G mobile networks in the country by the end of 2008.

The East African