Tanzania's Vodacom plans 150bn/- more investment

Image result for voda tanzaniaVodacom Tanzania will invest 150bn/- to upgrade its operations in Tanzania including expansion of rural coverage and partnering with the government to promote productivity in the agricultural sector, the telecom firm announced.

Vodacom Managing Director, Mr Rene Meza (pictured), told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that the investment would cover the firm’s 2G and 3G sites as well as M-Pesa and other innovations.

He listed other areas as rural coverage expansion and application of technology in partnering with the government on agricultural activities. “..during the year, Vodacom customers will continue to enjoy one of the lowest tariffs in Africa for voice calls, SMS and internet services,” Mr Rene pledged.

The MD said Tanzania so far enjoys one of the lowest voice rates per minute on the continent. “Compared to Kenya at 80/-, Ghana 80.4/- and Nigeria 96/- per minute.

Prior to the recent price increase, the blended average price of 23/- per minute was one of the lowest in the world,” he said.

“We are maintaining low prices because we believe that access to reliable telecom services is a right that should be enjoyed by all and not a luxury,” Mr Meza added.

He further said 2014 was a great year for his company on many fronts, noting that customers made 45 per cent more calls at significantly reduced rates.

In addition to this, over 1.7 million Tanzanians chose Vodacom as their preferred communication services provider in 2014. “Close to 50 per cent of our customers use data today.

This has in turn tripled internet usage on our network. We have more than 5.5 million customers who access the internet through their phones,” he explained.

Mr Meza said M-Pesa users now stand over at 6 million and transact about 1.7tri/- every month. “Our M-Pesa agents network has a national reach and is over 85,000 agents. The phenomenal growth that we had in 2014 is reflected in our contribution to government revenue.

We are now the 2nd largest payer in the country and the top in the telecoms sector,” he said. He said rural coverage, despite the challenges that come with it, remains a priority for Vodacom Tanzania.

“We believe this is where growth in the telecommunications industry will come from in the next decade. We have to date contributed in excess of 4.5bn/- to the Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF),” he said.

Mr Rene said in addition to UCSAF sites the firm has over 1300 sites in rural areas. All the regions and most districts in Tanzania now have 3G coverage.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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