Next-generation 4G network launched in Tanzania
- Published on 06 June 2012
Tanzania has become the third market in Africa to have a commercial 4G mobile network after Angola and Namibia.
African telecommunications operator Smile Telecom Holdings has launched the next generation 4G mobile network service in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The company says that the network is to be the first in Africa to provide the mobile broadband service - which is up to four times faster than 3G - in the 800 MHz frequency band. Telecommunications firm Alcatel-Lucent worked with Smile to bring 4G to Dar es Salaam.
Tanzania is the latest country on the continent to get the faster mobile broadband network. Namibia’s, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) launched its 4G network for parts of Windhoek last month, while Angolan operator Movicel worked with Huawei and ZTE to unveil its LTE network in Luanda, a key crude oil province, earlier this year.
“Broadband has a significant impact on socio-economic development and through our presence in the country we hope to play an important role in improving the livelihood of Tanzanians,” said Tom Allen, chief operating officer of Smile.
More African nations look to launch 4G
Other countries on the continent have announced plans to roll out LTE mobile networks in the coming two years.
Kenya is planning to unveil its 4G mobile data services network by 2013 at an estimated cost of $500 million.
Bitange Ndemo, permanent secretary at the ministry of information and communication, told Reuters that all Kenyan mobile phone firms had signed up to the new project.
Further north of Kenya, Morocco is also planning to launch a tender later this year to sell 4G licences, a business weekly has reported this year. The report quoted the head of that country’s communications regulator.
"The (telecoms watchog) plans to launch an international tender for this purpose (4G licences) in fall, 2012," Azdine el-Mountassir Billah, head of the Telecommunication Regulatory National Agency (ANRT), was quoted in a report by La Vie Economique.
ANRT plans to award the licences at the start of 2013 and they expect to be operational by the end of that year.