Tigo has increased tariffs for both on and off net calls, a move that has cost the third largest tele-provider after its customers increased slightly at an average of one per cent per month.
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority’s (TCRA) first quarter report that covers July-September 2011, says Tigo increased the on net tariff from 45/- to 62/- per minute and off net went up from 180/- to 234/-.
The regulator changed the mobile phone industry calendar last year to conform to international standard in which the year begins on July 1. As the result, the firm’s on call phones dropped by 39 per cent at the end of last September compared to 41 per cent at end of the June. The firm’s registered 284,645 subscribers increase in three months to 5,263,330.
On other hand, Airtel, the second market leader lowered its on call tariff in the said quarter from 42/- to 38/ a minute while maintained the same off-call tariffs of 180/- to woo 430,336 subscribers in three months; to end up with 6,834,301 clients.
Vodacom comfortably remained at the helm of the telecommunication industry, with 10,278,081 subscribers, after it managed to attract 1,013,239 in three months. The market leader maintained the same on net and off net calls tariffs at 60/- and 180/- respectively.
At the bottom of the list is Benson Informatics after merely attracting 38 subscribers in three months, an average of 13 clients per month. The firm closed the quarter with 1,708 customers. The second from the bottom is Sasatel, which saw its customer base increase slightly by 466 subscribers in three months at an average of 155 clients per month.
TTCL mobile was the only firm that lost customers in the quarter under review. The state-owned company saw its subscription base drop to 220,932 from 226,153 clients, losing 5,221 customers in three months.
However, in three months the country tele-density increased by almost eight per cent signifying the market is approaching saturation. The number of subscribers reached 23,979,870 at the end of last September. In average, the tele-density in three months has increased by 1,727,906 subscribers, the average of 575,967 customers per month.
The report shows that in the first quarter, the number of text message per user has gone down slightly to 32 from 34sms, while the average monthly revenue per user went up considerably to 5, 238/- from 4,654/-. The country has seven phone companies – Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo – the oldest, Zantel, TTCL, Sasatel, and Benson Informatics.
By ABDUEL ELINAZA, Tanzania Daily News