Three telcos Vodacom, Airtel and Tigo in conjuction with Tanzania’s TTLC are set to provide telecommunication services 112 Wards which were underserved through the Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF).
According to the East African Business Week TTCL as been tasked to provide telecommunications services to 102 wards for a total subsidy of $7.6 million (Tsh.14.2 billion) while another 10 wards located in border areas and special zones will get the service for $1.5 million (Tsh.2.7 billion).
The subsidies are designed to attract operators to move to the areas which are not seen as profitable to private investment.
Tigo will cover 42 wards where it will receive $1.7 million (Tsh.3.145 billion) as subsidies ,Vodacom got 36 wards and will receive $ 3.4 million (Tsh.6.33 billion) as subsidies.
The Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) won 19 Wards and will receive $2.2 million (Tsh.4.15 billion) as subsidies while Airtel Tanzania gets five wards and will get $ 306,000 (Tsh.566 million) as subsidies.
The telcos will offer telecommunication services to 10 wards in border and special zone areas with Vodacom taking up two wards and will be entitled for $ 435,000 (Tsh.804.7million) as subsidies.
Tigo will go to 5 wards and will receive $ 532,861 (Tsh.985million) as subsidies and Airtel will provide telecommunication service to three wards and will get $ 512,922 (Tsh.984.9 million) as subsidies.
Speaking at the event Peter Ulanga, UCSAF Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager, an agency whose objective is to foster social and economic development in rural and urban areas through ICT intervention, said they have already connected 25 government schools in the initial phase and they were looking forward to connecting another 250 schools.
“Plans were underway to ensure that the health sector also benefitted from the ICT project, as look forward to connect all district hospitals in the country with the advent of telemedicine, this will revolutionize the sector,” he said. Speaking at the signing ceremony Tanzania’s Minister for Communication, Science and Technology Prof. Makame Mbarawa said this was a good progress towards their goal of universal telecommunication service in the country, with a hope that next time more wards, perhaps 300 will be covered.
Acting Board Chairperson Prof. John Nkoma said that it is of great achievement to see that each community accesses communication services for its social and economic development.
“Taking communication services to rural areas is one of the major benefits that connect them with the rest of the nation,” Prof. Nkoma noted
The communication operators had been invited to bid for tenders to provide communication services to 158 wards in a project involving 14.21 million (Tsh.26.28 billion). A total of 158 wards (lots) were floated in a set of currently un-served or under-served wards within the country and 102 lots were bid successfully.