Airtel Africa, a provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in 14 countries across Africa, is again making its presence felt in the African market with a spectrum acquisition that will boost its network in Tanzania.
It has announced that its Tanzanian subsidiary, Airtel Tanzania, has purchased 140 MHz of additional spectrum spread across the 2600MHz (2 blocks of 2x15MHz) and 3500MHz bands from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) for a gross consideration of $60.1 million.
This additional spectrum, says Airtel, will support network expansion in the market for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, including 5G rollout, providing significant capacity to accommodate continued strong data growth in the country.
It adds: “This investment reflects our continued confidence in the opportunity inherent in the Tanzanian market, supporting the local communities and economy through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.”
According to Statista, as of December 2021, Vodacom was the leading mobile provider in Tanzania with a 29.4 percent market share of mobile subscriptions. Airtel and Tigo ranked second and third. At that time Vodacom had a total of 15.91 million subscriptions, whereas Tigo and Airtel had 13.37 and 14.7 million respectively.
These three operators dominate the market. The other four operators between them have less market share than any one of the top three. The country’s population is estimated to be about 63.6 million.