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Tuesday, 12 November 2019


By Ahmad Tao,
Dar es Salaam

It was announced this week that two of Tanzania’s best-known telecommunications companies – Tigo and Zantel – have merged. The successful transaction will see the sister companies combine their operations on both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

This move has been expected for some time.

Earlier this year, both Tigo and Zantel’s CEOs took the opportunity to highlight their ambitions for the merger, in an interview with Forbes on building prosperity in Tanzania. In particular, they pointed out the positive impact this merger would have for their customers, through improving the quality of services, while also encouraging progress across the telecommunications sector.

So what exactly does this mean for customers?

In a nutshell, customers of both Tigo and Zantel will now be able to enjoy the services offered by an enhanced network.

This integration combines the strengths of Tigo and Zantel, ultimately leading to better services for customers across the mainland and Zanzibar. Not only does this improve coverage for rural and urban dwellers, it also increases business access to the communications solutions and services offered by these operators.

It is important to note, however, that these benefits are not limited to Tigo and Zantel customers.

Commenting on the merger, Managing Director of Tigo Tanzania, Simon Karikari, expressed his belief that the integration “will create a more inclusive future for Tanzanian telecommunications.” He added that the more consolidated market will also help drive forward innovation.

Experts have highlighted the risks a fragmented market can pose to a telecommunications sector. Notably, that they can undermine long-term sustained investment.

This significant step in market consolidation is a major leap forward in the transformation of the Tanzanian telecommunications industry. There are now five telcos in Tanzania – down from seven earlier this year, following Smart’s exit from the market in October.

Tigo and Zantel’s announcement this week is not only good news for their customers, but a positive one for the country’s telecommunications sector as a whole.

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