Tanzania’s leading mobile operator, Vodacom Tanzania PLC, has signed a contract with The National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) worth $4.59 million that will allow the former to use government owned fiber optics cable infrastructure to enhance connectivity in rural Tanzania.
This investment comes after an initial investment of $6.2 million in October bringing the total invested amount to over $10 million and is set to further spread high-speed internet facilities upcountry.
According to the Permanent Secretary of Communication at the Ministry of ICT in Tanzania, Dr Jim Yonaz, the government’s ICT vision is to get 80% of the population to have access to broandband digital connectivity by 2025.
“The expansion of the national fiber backbone gets us closer to this goal. We have committed ourselves to this because we want to ensure that all Tanzanians get the opportunity to enjoy the benefits that come with digital connectivity. We recognize the vital role that mobile operators play in pushing this accessibility closer to the people. We appreciate Vodacom Tanzania and its collaboration in making use of this resource that the country has invested in and making it available to the public,” Dr Yonaz said during the signing ceremony.
With expanded internet access to remote areas of the country, more people will be able to access digital facilities, such as health services, education delivery, and agricultural information as well as furthering the growth of financial inclusion nationally.
The deal inked by Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) Director General, Peter Ulanga and Vodacom Managing Director Sitholizwe Mdlalose is set to improve Vodacom’s voice and data traffic across lake, central, and southern regions of Tanzania in a bid to transform the country into a knowledge based society through the application of ICT.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director who will be soon leaving for South Africa Sitholizwe Mdlalose said that Vodacom Tanzania aims to transform the country into a knowledge based society through the application of ICT while bridging the digital divide.
Vodacom Tanzania PLC has been a key stakeholder in the usage of NICTBB infrastructure since 2012, with capacity leasing contract worth USD 50 million signed since 2012. Over the 5 years TTCL who manage the NICTBB has worked with the telecommunication company in the country for the use of fiber optics infrastructure as a key stakeholder in the use of NICTBB.
“As a technology services company, Vodacom Tanzania relies on its high-speed internet service to deliver vital social and commercial services to the country. We have pioneered financial services with our M-Pesa platform, we are on the frontline with educational content on E-Fahamu as well as our recently launched M-Mama program which works to lower maternal and child mortality in the country. Vodacom has also embarked on collaborating with various government organs and ministries, such as TRA, TARURA, TANESCO, and Regional Water Authorities, to deliver digital services to the nation. We are especially happy to have this facility to enable us to spread these services for the benefit of more Tanzanians,” Sitholizwe elaborated further.
Vodacom Tanzania and its subsidiary companies are part of the Vodacom Group registered in South Africa which is in turn owned by Vodacom Group Plc of the United Kingdom.