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Tanzania's regulator issues two new spectrum licences

Tanzania's regulator issues two new spectrum licences

Vodacom Tanzania and Azam Telecom have each secured a spectrum licence for the 700MHz band auctioned by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) in early June 2018.

Market leader Vodacom Tanzania submitted a bid of US$10.005 million for the licence, while Azam Telecom Limited's bid was US$10m.

Conditions attached to the spectrum included the assurance by bidders to provide mobile broadband coverage for 60% of Tanzania's population by 2021 and 90% coverage by 2024.

These requirements are said to be in line with Tanzania's National Information Communications and Technology Policy's 2016 objectives to promote efficient use of spectrum to provide maximum socio-economic benefits.

Vodacom Tanzania's Chairman Ali Mufuruki said, "It is transformative from a broadband access perspective and the planned utilisation of the assigned spectrum will enable Vodacom to measurably contribute to the Country's mobile broadband infrastructure that is a critical element of economic development as noted in the National Information Communications and Technology Policy, 2016."

Diego Gutierrez, Vodacom Group COO said the spectrum enables the operator to put into action its plans to accelerate increased coverage and provision of high-speed mobile broadband, supporting a superior 4G data user experience across Tanzania.

"We welcome the announcement made by the TCRA and are pleased with our success in the auction to obtaining much-needed spectrum, Gutierrez said.

Tanzania currently has six operators and Azam Telecom is the latest entrant in the highly competitive market.

The company is owned by Tanzanian multi-millionaire tycoon Said Bakhresa who launched a pay TV service in 2013.

While no date has been given for the service launch, local media predict that it will happen within few months given the successful spectrum bid.

Azam Telecom will compete with Zantel, Airtel, Tigo, TTCL and Vodacom Tanzania.

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