The Tanzanian government, with support from the World Bank, has embarked on a project called Digital Tanzania in partnership with mobile network operators that will, it says, see the extension of broadband services to 713 wards – around 1,407 villages – and benefit over 8.5 million Tanzanians across the country upon its completion.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, the project is expected to cost around TZS265.3 billion (US$112 million) and will be implemented under the country’s Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF) established in 2007 to facilitate access to communication services. The government’s ambition is to achieve 80% broadband penetration by 2025.
Mobile operators will be responsible for deploying a total of 758 mobile towers in underserved areas between them. Market leader Vodacom has been allocated 190 wards through the Digital Tanzania partnership.
This means the company will extend its reach to approximately 4.1 million people – equivalent to 3.7% of Vodacom's network coverage. By the completion of this project, Vodacom will have reached 525 wards, getting over 8 million Tanzanians connected.
Vodacom Tanzania has been a key stakeholder in the usage of National ICT broadband backbone (NICTBB) infrastructure since 2012, with capacity leasing contracts worth over US$60 million in the past years.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the capital, Dodoma, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said: “The presence of services is of great significance not only in rural areas but also in town areas as it accelerates development and inclusion politically, socially, and economically, as well as for the safety and security of the nation. The implementation of this project is in line with the government’s commitment to improve telecommunication services and facilitate youth with opportunities in the ICT sector.”