According to media reports from East Africa, Airtel Tanzania plans to more than double the number of its 4G network sites following the recent issuing of a permit.
Airtel Tanzania will pay more than $12 million in June this year to the Tanzanian government for a high-speed internet (4G) licence, the company has said. Specifically, Airtel Tanzania has been authorised by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority to use 10MHz in the 700MHz band for eight months.
The Tanzanian unit of India’s Bharti Airtel has also been allocated additional frequency spectrum – 2×10MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band – at an annual fee of $600,000. The latest award brings Airtel’s total allocation to 2×22.5MHz in the 1800MHz band.
Airtel rolled out its 4G network in the country last November under an eight-month provisional licence subject to completion of the payment, after which it plans to expand to 25 other towns.
These growth plans follow continuing good news for the company which, according to news last month from the country’s regulatory authority, overtook Tigo Tanzania as the second largest telecoms operator in terms of voice subscriptions in the third quarter of last year. At that time it had 11.9 million voice subscribers compared to Tigo Tanzania’s 11.6 million. Vodacom remains in first place with 14.8 million subscribers, with Halotel Tanzania, Zantel, TTCL and Smile following some way behind.