Vodacom Tanzania

Vodacom Tanzania

company_name = Vodacom Tanzania
key_people = Romeo Kumalo - Managing Director
num_employees = 438 (as at March 31, 2006.) [ [http://www.telkom.co.za/pls/portal/docs/page/contents/minisites/ir/ar2006/ReviewOfOperations-Tanzania.pdf] Review of operations – Vodacom Tanzania ]
company_type = Public
foundation = 1999 ( Started commercial operations August 15, 2000)
location = Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania
industry = Communications Services| products = Wireless: 3G HSDPA Data Card, 3G HSDPA USB Modem, Booster Card, VodaFASTA, VodaChoice, VodaJAZA,Toll-free, Corporate Talk, People's phone, Vodago, Tsh Vouchers, Foreign Vouchers and Vodashops
homepage = [http://www.vodacom.co.tz/ vodacom.co.tz]

Vodacom Tanzania Limited is one of the largest telecommunications companies in Tanzania. As for January 18, 2007, Vodacom Tanzania had its 3 millionth customer and became the largest wireless telecommunications network in Tanzania (based on total wireless customers) followed by Celtel Tanzania. Vodacom Tanzania is the second telecom company in Africa, after Vodacom, to switch on its 3G High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) which was available only in Dar Es Salaam in early 2007 [ [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3G] 3G, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia] .

Vodacom Tanzania always compete on advertises heavily to the youth market. In this way, the company has been using some swahili slang to coin and marketing its products such as VodaFasta, VodaFlava and Kama Kawa (Kama Kawaida)Fact|date=September 2008. Historically, they have also pioneered new features; they were the first and exclusive Tanzanian carrier to launch video call, video messaging and 3G HSDPA USB Modem. As for January 11, 2008, Vodacom Tanzania was again the first and execlusive company to provide a free E-mail ID via a phone number [ [http://www.vodacom.co.tz/docs/docredir.asp?docid=3277] free E-mail from Vodacom ] .

The company was created in late 1999 as a subsidiary company of Vodacom based in South Africa. Vodacom Tanzania is a joint venture in which Vodacom Group owns a majority share portion of about 65%, the remaining portion is owned by Tanzanian shareholders that include Capsian Construction Ltd and Planetel Communications Ltd [ [http://www.vodacom.co.tz/] Company Profile ] .By August 2000, the company completed its GSM infrastructure and went live on August 14, 2000. Vodacom Tanzania announced officially its commercial operations on August 15, 2000. Vodacom Tanzania became the largest mobile operator in the country within one year of launching and remains the largest mobile communications network operator in Tanzania up to date.

Vodacom Tanzania has its executive headquarter in 14th Floor PPF Towers Garden Avenue / Ohio Street in Dar Es Salaam and maintains operational and engineering branches in many regions in Tanzania. The company has active roaming agreements with many network operators in the world that include T-Mobile USA, Inc in USA, vodafone Ltd in UK and BPL Cellular (now Vodafone) in Kerala, India [. [http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/roa_tzvo.shtml] Vodacom Tanzania Limited - Roaming Partners ] . The company distributes its products and services through a number of Super dealers and Vodashops. Vodacom is acceptable short name for the company within the country.



Vodacom Group was licensed in December 1999 to operate a GSM cellular network in Tanzania and formed the subsidiary company Vodacom Tanzania Limited. The Group also has operations in Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

When Vodacom entered in Tanzania there was one GSM 900 MHz cellular operator, Tritel, on the mainland of Tanzania with 15 to 20,000 active subscribers and another which was operating exclusively on the island of Zanzibar. There was also an analogue cellular network operator, MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO), with active subscriber base of 40 to 50,000. tiGo was known as Mobitel when started its operation within the country in late 1993. There was also one government owned fixed-line telecommunications operator,Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited, TTCL. Vodacom Tanzania was the third licensed network operator in Tanzania and became the largest mobile communications network operator in the country within one year of launching.

Vodacom Tanzania Partnership

It has been claimed that Vodacom Group has a habit of choosing politicians and their friends as business partners to extends its operations on the continent [ [http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=304613&area=/insight/insight__national/] Vodacom's elite network ] . It was reported by The Mail & Guardian that Mozambican President Armando Guebuza had become a shareholder in Vodacom Mozambique.

Vodacom Tanzania was licensed in Tanzania with its local partners Planetel Communications holding 36% and Caspian Construction holding 16%. Later Planetel decreased its stake to 16%, while Caspian’s increased to 19% [ [http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=304613&area=/insight/insight__national/] Vodacom's elite network ] .

A representative of Caspian on the Vodacom Tanzania board is businessman-politician Rostam Aziz, a close supporter of President Jakaya Kikwete. At the time Vodacom was licensed in Tanzania, neither man was quite as powerful as now.Kikwete was Foreign Minister and Aziz had yet to occupy any formal position in Tanzanian politics.

While spreading its political bets, the CCM's and the former Speaker of Parliament Pius Msekwa was granted Vodacom Tanzania’s non-executive chair between 2003 and 2005. When Vodacom Tanzania hosted a “VIP gala night” to bid farewell to outgoing president Mkapa in December 2005, Msekwa attended, presumably in both capacities.


The native Vodacom Tanzania network operates on the dual band GSM 1800 MHz and 900 MHz. The network was fixed in 2000 by Siemens Telecommunications based in South Africa. It was claimed that the 900 and 1800 GSM network was extremely hi-tech for mobile telecommunications in Africa, with an IN platform as well as various management and maintenance platforms [ [http://www.cellular.co.za/news_2000/news-06162000_siemens_tanzania.htm] SIEMENS WINS SECOND CONTRACT IN TANZANIA] . The network coverage extends in the geographical radius of many regions in the country.

In late 2006 Vodacom Tanzania deployed The VectaStar wireless transmission equipment and the backhaul network was commerciallly operated in the same year. Operating in the licensed 10.5 GHz spectrum band, the network is covering the areas of Dar Es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi and Mwanza. Vodacom Tanzania has highly improved customer service levels which uses IVR technology. As such, Vodacom customers are now served in two languages, Kiswahili and English [ [http://www.cambridgebroadband.com/pdf/mi05sep06.pdf] VODACOM TANZANIA AWARDS CAMBRIDGE BROADBAND MAJOR NEWRADIO TRANSMISSION EQUIPMENT CONTRACT ] .


As for september 28, 2007 the extent to which Tanzania’s population is covered with telecommunication services remains unclear. This is due to the fact 100% regional and district coverage in terms of Points of Presence for let say Tanzania Telecommunication Limited, TTCL, does not indicate how deep it goes from there to different villages [ [http://web.si.umich.edu/tprc/papers/2007/711/VanGorpMaitland_TPRC07_TZ.pdf] Paper submitted for the 35th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC) in Arlington, Virginia, September 28-30 2007] .

Vodacom Tanzania mainly resides and operates in Tanzania mainland and the company acts as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on the mainland for ZanTel. ZanTel has its own network in Zanzibar, and has made an agreement with Vodacom Tanzania to use the latter’s facilities on the mainland, and thus, essentially to provide national roaming.

In East Africa, Vodacom Tanzania has its footprints within Tanzania and it has roaming arrangements with a number of East African carriers, such as MTN Uganda and Safaricom Kenya. The free-roaming zone in East Africa, between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda was formed on February 2, 2007. Similarly to "One Network", world's first borderless network across East Africa, launched by Celtel in September 27 2006 [ [http://www.tz.celtel.com/en/about-us/news/index.html] Celtel launches One Network: The world’s first borderless mobile phone network] , the free-roaming zone anables its subscribers to roam free between these countries, thereby scrapping roaming charges [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ECZ/is_2007_Feb_2/ai_n17167999] Vodacom Tanzania forms free roaming zone with MTN Uganda and Safaricom Kenya] , making calls and sending SMS at their home tariff and receiving incoming calls and SMS for free. It also enables them to recharge with their own vouchers when travelling outside of their home country.

As of 2008, Vodacom Tanzania prepaid customers have only restricted roaming privileges (except for Kenya and Uganda roaming). While international roaming is available to all post-paid customers, it must first be activated through customer service. Once provisioned, charges for calls and SMS made and received while on international roaming are then added to customer's monthly post-paid account back in Tanzania. The company has International Roaming through partnerships with 288 live networks across 140 countries and territories such as Kerala in India [ [http://www.vodacom.co.tz/docs/docredir.asp?docid=3303] Vodacom Tanzania International Roaming ] via BPL Cellular. The newest roaming destinations include China and Germany. In Germany Vodacom prepaid customers are allowed to roam with Vodafone D2.

3G Upgrading

The 3G technology was part of a $126 million broadband technology roll-out and part of $1.3 million capital expenditure programme to extend the network of Vodacom in Tanzania as of December 2006. Again Siemens Communications based in South Africa was awarded a contract by Vodacom Tanzania to deliver and install the complete 3G network including HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology.This is the second 3G network to be set up by Siemens in Southern Africa and it is claimed to be the first truly high-speed mobile broadband connectivity available in Tanzania. Siemens Communications was already responsible for building the 3G network for Vodacom in South Africa.

Although the 3G technology was officially used in early 2007, the technology and required frequency supporting 3G services was in operational since early December 2006 as a testing phase to optimize the network [ [http://www.iweek.co.za/ViewStory.asp?StoryID=171183] Vodacom 3G hits Tanzania ] . The company planned to extend the 3G capabilities to other regions of Tanzania in the aftermath of successful assessment of the first 3G roll-out. Vodacom Tanzania is the first in East Africa with such technology and it is claimed that 3G HSDPA gives a major competitive advantage to customers.

Plans for WiMAX

Among other network operators in Tanzania, Vodacom Tanzania has a plan to deploy WiMAX technology. Others include TTCL, MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO) and ZanTel. As for September 28, 2007, Celtel Tanzania could not indicate any plan for WiMAX roll-out.

Vodacom Tanzania's plans for WiMAX was followed by spectrum guaranteed by regulator for 3.5 GHz. The guaranteed spectrum will be used for targeting data transfer for corporate sector in major cities within the country.

Currently Vodacom Tanzania is using Cambridge Broadband’s VectaStar equipment. This equipment can be deployed to backhaul traffic from both, mobile and data networks, including GSM, 3G and WiMAX sites. Actually, the equipment was fixed by Cambridge Broadband Limited as per radio transmission equipment contract. Vodacom Tanzania awarded the major radio transmission equipment contract to Cambridge Broadband Limited in September 5, 2006 [ [http://www.cambridgebroadband.com/pdf/mi05sep06.pdf] VODACOM TANZANIA AWARDS CAMBRIDGE BROADBAND MAJOR NEW RADIO TRANSMISSION EQUIPMENT CONTRACT ] .

Other Telecom Companies In Tanzania

ee also

# Celtel Tanzania
#MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO)
#Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited
# Vodacom
#Celtel International
#Celtel Africa Challenge
# 3G Technology


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