Tanzania turns to smart technology to regulate its telecoms sector
1 February 2019
The Tanzanian government recently announced that they were able to collect SH93 billion in revenue over the past five years due to smart technology which has aided in regulating the telecoms sector in the country.
The Telecom Traffic Monitoring System (TTMS) system, which regulates the exact number of telecom users, debtors, telecom fraudsters etc. has allowed the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to collect over Sh93 billion in revenue over the past five years.
The TTMS project has managed to eradicate almost all instances of fraud in external telecoms, bringing the figure down from over 65% to just 10%. TTMS also allows authorities to regulate and track mobile money transactions allowing for economic inclusivity of unbanked citizens.
With an estimated 42 million people using cell phones and hand phones – 23 million of which are smartphone users, Tanzanian telecom sector still lost billions of dollars to fraud. As such, finding ways to clamp down on the mismanagement of funds in order to reach financial independence from these global regulatory bodies has been prioritised in recent years.
A national success story in this regard has been that of the Telecom Traffic Monitoring System (TTMS) project implemented by Global Voice Group (GVG), which has allowed the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to collect over Sh93 billion in revenue over the past five years.
Speaking at an event in Dar es Salaam last week which acknowledged the impact of the TTMS project, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, John Magufuli, admitted that the mismanagement of funds in the telecom industry had gotten out of control. “It is no secret that we have lost a lot of money as a result of fraud and embezzlement in this sector.
“I would like to inform everybody, however, that since this TTMS system was installed, we now know the exact number of telecom users, debtors, telecom fraudsters, and all the information that we didn’t know before. In fact, the TTMS has managed to eradicate almost all instances of fraud in external telecoms, bringing the figure down from over 65% to just 10%.
“Without this system, a large portion of this revenue would have gone into private pockets, instead of being used by Government for the greater good of the country,” the President explained.
The system has also helped Government to understand and control a lot of electronic financial transactions like Mpesa and related transactions. This has allowed authorities to oversee these fast-growing services and to monitor their regulatory compliance as well as their security, reliability and quality for Tanzanians, especially the unbanked ones for whom mobile money represent essential services for their financial inclusion.
According to the director general of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Mr James Kilaba, this has already made a significant impact on tracking mobile money transactions. “We have seen an increase in mobile money transactions from Sh8.5 trillion per month recorded in 2007 to Sh11.6 trillion in 2017.”