In early June 2018, Vodacom Tanzania and Azam Telecom have each secured a spectrum license for the 700MHz band auctioned by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
The two operators submitted bids for licenses. Market leader Vodacom Tanzania submitted a bid of US$10.005 million for the license, while Azam Telecom Limited's bid was for US$10m under the condition that by 2021, bidders need to provide mobile broadband coverage for 60% of Tanzania's population by 2021 and 90% coverage by 2024.
These requirements apply to the Tanzania's National Information Communications and Technology Policy's 2016 objectives to promote efficient use of spectrum to provide maximum socio-economic benefits.
Vodacom Tanzania's Chairman Ali Mufuruki said, "It is transformative from a broadband access perspective and the planned utilization of the assigned spectrum will enable Vodacom to measurably contribute to the Country's mobile broadband infrastructure that is a critical element of economic development as noted in the National Information Communications and Technology Policy, 2016."
According to Diego Gutierrez, Vodacom Group COO, the spectrum will enable the operator to activate its plans to accelerate increased coverage and provision of high-speed mobile broadband, supporting a superior 4G data user experience across Tanzania.
"We welcome the announcement made by the TCRA and are pleased with our success in the auction to obtaining much-needed spectrum, Gutierrez said.
Nowadays, Tanzania has six operators and there’s a new competitor in the market: Azam Telecom. Tanzanian multi-millionaire businessman, Said Bakhresa is the owner of the company. He launched a pay TV service in 2013.
Local media predict that the launching of the service will happen within few months given the successful spectrum bid even though no date has been given yet. Azam Telecom will compete with Zantel, Airtel, Tigo, TTCL and Vodacom Tanzania.