Vodacom Tanzania, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Vodacom Group, remained the market leader for mobile phone subscribers and mobile money transfers. File Photo: IOL

DAR ES SALAAM – Tanzania’s mobile phone subscriptions rose to 43.67 million in the three months ending in June, a 4.7 percent increase from a year earlier, an official report showed on Wednesday.

Vodacom Tanzania, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Vodacom Group, remained the market leader for both mobile phone subscribers and mobile money transfers.

As in many other African countries, mobile phone use has surged in Tanzania over the past decade, underpinned by the availability of cheaper smartphones.

The number of internet users in the East African country rose to 23.14 million in June, up from 22.99 million a year ago, the state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) said in a report.

The number of people using mobile money transfers rose to 22.9 million in second quarter from 20.8 million previously.

Vodacom Tanzania increased its share of the mobile phone subscription market share slightly to 33 percent from 32 percent.

Other major mobile operators in Tanzania include Tigo, part of Sweden’s Millicom with a 27 percent market share, Airtel, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel on 26 percent and Halotel, owned by Vietnam’s Viettel, with 10 percent.

Vodacom Tanzania also holds a 41 percent share of the country’s thriving mobile money business, which handled transactions worth 8.3 trillion Tanzanian shillings ($3.6 billion) in June, according to TCRA.

Reuters