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Tanzania's Internet users have reached over 9 Million

This Article originally published by The Citizen

Where do Tanzanians access internet services from? This is an important question to ask as Tanzania’s uptake to internet services has kept growing tremendously, now reaching nine million users.

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Some of the factors that have contributed towards this growth include an increase in the number of mobile phone users and the completion of the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB).

These technological revolutions have led to a substantial decline in the cost of using internet services in the country, thanks to the government’s initiative to invest in the fibre optic technology.

It is also due to the advent of internet-enabled mobile phones and lower bandwidth adaptation applications, particularly social media, which is driving the rapid diffusion and growth of mobile internet usage in various sectors of the economy.

According to mobile phone subscriber statistics from the recent Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Quarterly Telecoms Report for December 2013, people in the country access internet services from three major outlets, namely internet cafes, organisations/institutions and households/individuals.

Over the past six years (2008-2013), taking into account of internet users by subscription type, the majority of people accessed internet from organisations/institutions, which had the highest subscription followed by households/individual and finally internet cafes.

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Between 2008 and 2011, the three sources in their order of preference were leading for having the largest and the lowest number of users. But from 2012 to 2013 there has been a turn of events in which households/individual subscriptions have outnumbered institutions by far.

For example, internet subscribers in the individual category jumped from 2.26 million in 2011 to 4.53 million in 2012, while people who accessed internet from organisation moved from 2.82 million in 2011 to 2.75 million in 2012.

In 2013, the number of individual subscription jumped to 5.71 million, while that from organisations reached 3.35 million.

On the other hand, internet cafes subscription has continued recording a sluggish growth since 2008 to 2013 its subscription number hasn’t even hit 300,000 people, which may be a prediction for their demise in the future as the majority are moving to more sophisticated portable internet-enabled devices.

Internet cafes, which have been playing an important role in developing countries, are fast dying out and this is partly due to a rise in smartphones.

By 2008, Tanzania had 350 internet cafes that served 126,000 people.

But even though the number soared to 652 cafes in 2013, the centres served only 234,720 people compared to 3.35 million people and 5.75 million people from organisations and households/individuals respectively.

Historically, internet services in Tanzania started in 1995. In 2000, the country had only 115,000 people connected to the internet. Since then the number has kept growing significantly, reaching 9.3 million users in 2014 (20 per cent of the 45 million people in Tanzania).

By May 2013, TCRA statistics showed that there were six million internet users out of the 45 million citizens, who had access to the internet daily , equivalent to the penetration rate of 11.5 per cent of the population.

Tanzania, being among the top five key target markets in Africa, in recent times; has attracted telecommunications service providers to start a race towards launch of the first offering of commercially-available LTE (4G) technology for mobile internet, beating African heavyweights South Africa.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Forth Generation (4G) technology - is the most recent tech in provision of mobile services in the world - which is also undergoing different trials in the country spearheaded by Smile Telecoms.
Tanzania's Internet users have reached over 9 Million Tanzania's Internet users have reached  over 9 Million Reviewed by Ally on Saturday, April 19, 2021 Rating: 5

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