Mobile phone users opt for messages

The number of on net traffic mobile phone calls declined by 2.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to quarter ending December 2011, with many people opting for short messages (SMS) that more than doubled.
Official data released last week by Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) shows that the number of on net calls declined to 4.63 billion in the quarter under review from 4.76 billion of the preceding period, a sign that many mobile users have opted to messages.
“The number of short messages sent through mobile phones more than doubled to 1.23 billion in the quarter ending March 2012 compared to only 598.74 million recorded in the period between October and December, last year,” stated the report.

Total revenues garnered from the number of messages which exchanged hands among various mobile users jumped to 72.64bn/- in the period ending March compared to only 20.95bn/- accrued between October and December, 2011.

In the meantime the number of calls from one network to another declined by 3.31 per cent to 232.12 million in the quarter under review compared to 240.07 million of the previous period.

But the number of mobile sms from one network system to another increased by 16.27 per cent to 324.80 million in March, this year compared to only 279.34 million messages. Tanzania lead in the East African region in terms of average number of text messages sent per month per subscriber.

Moving the 2012/13 budget estimates in Dodoma in June, this year, the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr William Mgimwa said the government has increased taxes on mobile phone calls by two per cent to 12 per cent, which will definitely impact on the rate of both on and off net calls.

The quarterly operator's subscriptions market shares show that Vodacom still leads with 45 per cent, Airtel 27 per cent, Tigo 21 per cent and Zantel six per cent.
Source: The Daily News,, reported by Sebastian Mrindoko
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