SIM card registration trends in Zanzibar increase by 12pct

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 11:36 AM Apr 23 2024
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Dr Jabiri Bakari
Photo: File
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Dr Jabiri Bakari

TRENDS of SIM Card Registration in Zanzibar indicate a 12 percent increase in the penetration of mobile phone services among the population.

 The newly released communication sector statistics issued by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Dr Jabiri Bakari, show that SIM card registration in Unguja and Pemba increased by an average of 37.21 percent between September 2022 and March 2024.

 The Government is implementing a key project in Zanzibar to facilitate the migration to superior mobile phone services that offer more quality voice communications and faster data transmissions. 

 Tanzanian government launched the construction of 42 new mobile base transceiver stations in 39 wards in Zanzibar in November 2022. The statistics show that SIM cards now reach 45 percent of the Unguja and Pemba population. The penetration was 26.5 in September 2022, two months before the project. 

 The March 2024 penetration is higher in Pemba’s two regions – 82.5 percent compared with 38.6 percent in Unguja. 

 The project is part of a programme managed by the Universal Communications Services Access Fund (UCSAF). The Government is currently building 758 new base stations and upgrading more than 300 others in Mainland Tanzania.  

 Mobile services rollout and geographical coverage increased by between two and four points per technology during the January-March 2024, quarter. Third-generation (3G) mobile services rollout increased from 86 percent to 88 percent. Fourth generation (4G) from 79 to 80 percent. The fifth generation 5G) rollout is 13.  
 The TCRA statistics show that 72,496,095 SIM cards were registered throughout Tanzania by March 2024, of which 1.3 percent are for machine-to-machine communications. Some 70,035,043 SIM cards were registered in January 2024.

 Dar es Salaam accounts for 13.3 million subscriptions and ranks first. Mwanza, with 4.8 million is second, followed by Arusha with 4.5 million, Mbeya with 4.2 million and Dodoma with 3.7 million. 

  Internet subscriptions increased from 36,687,794 subscriptions in January 2024 to 36,771,612 in March 2024.  It increased by 37 percent between March 2020 and March 2024 from 26,832,089   to 36,771,612. 

 Internet subscriptions refer to the total number of lines, including SIM cards and fixed lines, that have accessed and used Internet services over three months, regardless of the technology used.

 The report showed that over 99 percent of subscribers access the service on mobile wireless devices. 

 Data usage increased to 3,702 MB per subscriber in March 2024 compared with 2,957 in December 2023.

 The report also shows that international voice and data tariffs have decreased. East Africa voice tariffs fell from 754 shillings in December 2023 to 727/- a minute in March 2024. The rest of the world's callers saw a fall from 1,960 to 1,899/- a minute in the period.

 The report shows a gradual increase in smartphone use - to 32.59 percent in March 2014, from 32.13 percent in December 2023; and the replacement of feature phones.  Smartphone use accelerates internet uptake. Feature phones decreased from 85.62 percent in December 2023 to 85.56 in March 2024, which implies that more mobile phone users in the Country are shifting super quality handsets.