Competition involving the seven players in Tanzania’ telecoms industry is stiffening – a trend that has in turn resulted in a change of the market shares structure.
Going by a report of the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL), Airtel Tanzania, Halotel and Tigo were the gainers of the competition as of September this year, compared to last July.
This, in turn, saw to TTCL, Airtel Money, Halopesa and Tigo Pesa register more mobile accounts at the expense of Vodacom Tanzania and Ezy Pesa, which lost part of their market shares.
TTCL registered some 95,336 new subscriptions.
Airtel had 90,079; Halotel 74,120, and Tigo 50,527.
However, despite losing 728,957 mobile money accounts, Vodacom Tanzania’s M-Pesa remains the market leader.
It had 12,660,205 mobile money subscriptions, equivalent to 38 percent of the market share.
It was followed by Tigo Pesa which accounts for 25 percent of the market share; Airtel 21 percent; Halopesa 11 percent; TTCL three percent; Ezy Pesa two percentm while Smile had none.
Vodacom Tanzania corporate affairs director Rosalynn Mworia attributed their downward performance trend in mobile money transactions to increased competition and mobile money transactions levy – to some extent.
In an effort to raise revenue by Sh1.254 trillion to partly finance the Sh36.68 trillion budget for the 2021/22 financial year, the government amended the Electronic and Postal Communication Act (CAP 306) in June this year by imposing a levy of between Sh10 and Sh10, 000 on mobile money transactions, depending on the amount transacted.
But after weeks of public outcry over the levy, the government just as soon reduced the amount that it collects from customers in the form of mobile money transaction levy by 30 percent.
Ms Mworia said the company will keep on being innovative, in a bid to diversify their revenue streams and remain in business as a market leader.
“We will keep entering in partnerships with other stakeholders, in an effort to offer services beyond sending and withdrawing money,” Ms Mworia say.
“We are committed to bringing to our customers innovative products,” he explained.
TTLC T-Pesa director Lulu Mkude told that their commendable performance during the period under review was significantly contributed to by intensive awareness campaign about T-Pesa.
“With the campaign, we have been able to extend our mobile money services to rural areas – thus enabling us to expand our customer base,” said Ms Mkude.
Again, she said, low T-Pesa services tariffs have been attractive to new and the old customers alike.
Commenting on the report, a statistician from TCRA, Mr Juma Honga, attributed the drop in mobile money accounts for some of the telecoms companies to an amalgamation of factors.
They include drops in mobile services tariffs, the establishment of mobile money interoperability services, and mandatory Sim card registration.
“Previously, people owned more than one Sim card to avoid high costs, especially when it came to sending money from a phone on one network to a phone on another network,” he told this paper.
“But with the establishment of mobile money interoperability and drop in tariffs for the service, some of Tanzanians who owned more than one Sim cards had to abandon some of them (Sim cards).”
Again, he added, the drop might have been contributed by biometric Simcard registration by using National Identity (ID) where many people who did not have such IDs their Sim cards were locked and became inactive.
As of September, the number of telecom subscriptions stood at 54.1 million, with Vodacom taking a lead at 29.7 percent of subscription market share, followed closely by Airtel which accounts for 27.1 percent.