This chapter includes the following articles.
Tanzania’s telecoms industry is considered as a model for development in sub-Saharan Africa. The sector has recorded rapid growth in activity, supported by some of the lowest user tariffs in Africa, speedy smartphone and mobile broadband uptake, and steady investment in infrastructure and next-generation service expansion. However, sustaining growth will require telecoms operators to navigate a handful of obstacles, including one of the highest tax rates in Africa, as well as a recent push by the government to expedite required initial public offerings on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. Although these challenges could weigh on future revenues, the country’s relatively low levels of mobile broadband penetration, combined with demand for cashless banking services and new investment in infrastructure, should keep telecoms growing steadily over the medium term. Improvements in and expansion of ICT services have accelerated in Tanzania over the last decade, supported by new submarine cable connectivity, successful completion of a National ICT Broadband Backbone project and rising investment in mobile broadband networks. However, the country’s large rural population and substantial small and medium-sized enterprise segment means that internet penetration remains low and ICT services are out of reach for most businesses. Steadily rising demand for next-generation services and rapid growth in e-government and e-payment systems could see that change in the coming years, with internet adoption, mobile broadband network coverage and digital financial services set to continue on a strong growth path into 2018. This chapter contains an interview with James Kilaba, Director-General, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority.