The number of mobile customers in Tanzania reached 39.95 million at the end of 2017, down slightly from 40.04 million in 2016, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) statistics for the fourth quarter show. In the last two months of the year, the market added over 463,000 subscribers, led by gains of 160,000 at Airtel and around 140,000 each at Tigo and Vodacom.
Market shares showed little change over the past year. Vodacom remained market leader with nearly 12.9 million customers, up from 12.4 million in 2016, and saw its share increase slightly to 32 percent from 31 percent. Tigo was in second place with just over 11.0 million customers, down from 11.6 million a year earlier, and its market share dipped to 28 percent. Airtel had nearly 10.9 million customers or a 27 percent market share, up from 26 percent in 2016. Halotel followed at a distance with 3.8 million customers and increased its market share to 10 percent in 2017 from 8 percent the previous year.
Internet users in Tanzania increased to just under 23 million in 2017 from 19.9 million in 2016, increasing the penetration to 45 percent from 40 percent. The growth was led by mobile internet users, which grew by around 1 million in 2017 to just over 19 million. Fixed wireless users more than doubled for a second year, to nearly 3.5 million at the end of 2017.
The TCRA also reported nearly 21.9 million mobile money subscribers at year-end, up from 18.1 million in 2016. Vodacom’s M-Pesa was the biggest with nearly 8.1 million users, followed by Tigo Pesa with almost 6.9 million subscribers and Airtel Money with nearly 5.9 million users.
Total voice traffic reached 15.4 billion minutes in the fourth quarter of 2017, up over 11 percent from a year earlier. The growth came from on-net traffic, which grew to 87 percent of total traffic, while off-net and international traffic declined year-on-year.