TCRA: Digital economy growth on track as internet use expands – The Citizen

Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) director general Jabiri Bakari
By  Alex Nelson Malanga
Business journalist

Dar es Salaam. The government said yesterday that the Tanzania’s digital economy aspirations were on the right track, thanks to the increase in internet users and usage.
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) director general Jabiri Bakari (pictured) said the industry recorded a 6.7 percent growth in number of internet users in September compared to June, this year.
Briefing the media on the telecom industry’s performance for the 2022/23 financial year’s first quarter ending September, Dr Bakari said under the period of review, number of internet users increased to 31.1 million from 29.2 million.
He said for the past five years the annual internet subscriptions have been growing at an average rate of 17 percent.
Meanwhile, internet usage, which is counted as amount of data traffic (in petabytes) used in a given time period, increased from an average of 6,037 Megabytes (MB) in June to 6,626MBs in September.
“This is an indicator for the digital economy growth,” argued Dr Bakari. He attributed the sector’s handsome performance to an enabling business environment.
The government, he explained, had been not only putting in place appealing laws, policies and regulations, but also walking the talk on the same. “We have been and we are improving the regulations governing the sector and that is why the performance in the first quarter ending September is awesome,” said the TCRA boss.
He went on saying: “The interaction at policy level about the digital economy has also been a catalyst for the increase in the usage of the internet.”
When it came to internet services with the most bandwidth usage (GB), the service that used more bandwidth (in GB) for the July –September 2022 was Facebook with a total of 2.59 billion GB, according to the report.
It was followed by YouTube (1.91 billion GB), WhatsApp (1.58 billion GB and TikTok (999 million GB).
“Analysis on daily usage shows that Facebook has more subscribers and ranked first. The last ranked in the list is Telegram followed by Imo,” reads a part of the TCRA report.
The report further shows that the telecom subscription increased to 58.1 million subscriptions in September from 56.2 million subscriptions recorded in June 2022.
This is equivalent to an increase of 3.4 percent of Sim cards which have been registered and are active, indicating that they have been used at least once in the past three months. “The analysis on operator’s subscriptions market shares shows that the market is still very competitive since there is no operator with more than 35 percent of the market share,” said Dr Bakari.
Despite losing one percent of its market shares, Vodacom remained the market leader, commanding 30 percent of the market shares compared to June’s 31 percent.
Under the period of reference, Airtel, which gained one more share only to reach 28 percent, maintained its second place after Vodacom.
Tigo which in June tied with Airtel for the second place was pulled to a third position after its shares decreased from 27 percent to 26 percent.
Despite the increase in its shares from 12 percent in June to 13 percent in September, Halotel Tanzania was pushed down to fourth place.
Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) and Smile maintained their shares at three percent and zero percent.
According to the report, in the process of battling for customers, all six telcos, except TTCL, recorded an increase in subscriptions. Airtel gained 950,351 new subscriptions, beating the other five telcos.
Vodacom and Tigo came second and third by attracting 523,285 and 431,451 new subscriptions respectively.
Halotel and Smile came fourth and fifth by attracting 270,187 and 1,041 new subscriptions respectively.
On the losing side was TTCL, which lost 282,101 subscriptions.
In another development, mobile money subscriptions increased from 37.4 million accounts in June to 39.6 million accounts in September.
The analysis shows that, at 39 percent, Vodacom accounts for the lion’s share of mobile money accounts in the market and the last one is TTCL which has four percent.
With 25 percent, 23 percent and nine percent of the market share, Tigo, Airtel and Halotel came at second, third and fourth place respectively.
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