By Rasaq Omobolaji, Boardroom
Airtel Tanzania, a prominent player in Africa’s telecom landscape with a presence in 14 markets, has officially entered the 5G race, marking a significant stride towards ultra high-speed connectivity. The telecom giant, renowned for its expansive network, has joined the ranks of companies vying to offer the latest in telecommunications technology.
Fresh from successful commercial broadband rollouts in Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia, Airtel Tanzania has unveiled its 5G network, a remarkable development that ushers in a new era of enhanced connectivity. The deployment, which commenced last week, currently extends to select locations, accessible through compatible smartphones or a specialized router.
The groundwork for this monumental leap was laid nearly 10 months ago when Airtel Africa secured an additional 140 MHz of telecom frequencies from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), an investment amounting to US$60.1 million. This strategic acquisition was positioned to bolster Airtel Africa’s network coverage expansion and facilitate the introduction of 5G services.
Notably, Airtel Tanzania becomes the third major operator to introduce 5G technology in the Tanzanian market, following in the footsteps of Vodacom Tanzania and Tigo. The predecessors took the plunge in September 2022 and February 2023 respectively, reflecting the escalating demand for high-speed internet in line with the ongoing digital transformation.
By stepping into the 5G domain, Airtel Tanzania aims to solidify its position in the dynamic market landscape. The move promises to make the company more competitive, a crucial advantage in a market where the appetite for high-speed internet continues to surge, driven by the sweeping waves of digital transformation.
According to the latest data from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Airtel boasts 64.1 million subscribers, securing a significant 27 percent share of the mobile telephony market in Tanzania. This positions Airtel alongside other formidable players including TTCL, Halotel, Tigo, and Vodacom, which respectively hold 3 percent, 13 percent, 27 percent, and 30 percent of the same market.
As Airtel Tanzania stakes its claim in the 5G sphere, the landscape of connectivity and communication in the nation is poised for a remarkable shift. The introduction of 5G not only exemplifies the relentless march of technological progress but also underlines Airtel’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that align with the evolving needs of their customers.