Tanzania ' s mobile market is gearing up for more competition with the expected arrival of a fast - growing international telecoms operator. According to local media reports in Vietnam, Viettel has acquired a 65% stake in mobile licensee Epocha and Golden Ocean Tanzanie Ltd (Egotel) for US$18mn and intends to invest up to US$337 .7 mn in the operator. The commercial launch of Egotel will bring the number of active mobile operators in Tanzania to eight. While we expect Viettel to make an immediate impac t given its experience and resources , we retain the view that the Tanzanian market will be unable to support that many active operators over the long term .
| Crowded Market |
|Tanzania Mobile Operators By Market Share, March 2012|
BMI notes that Egotel is one of up to 12 other firms with licences to provide mobile services in Tanzania, seven of which are active with varying levels of performances. According to regulatory and operator data, only the country's large mobile operators - Vodacom, Airtel and Tigo - have consistently recorded positive subscriber growth during the past 12 to 18 months. The four smaller operators - Zantel, TTCL, Benson and Sasatel - which account for less than 6% of the total subscriber base, have mostly experienced flat growth or a contraction of their subscriber bases during the same period. This may be related to the superior financial resources available to the larger operators, used for network development and introduction of new services. Tanzania is among the countries in the region that experienced an intense price war over the last three years, a development that depressed ARPUs and affected operators' financial performances. Although the intensity of the price war appears to have abated, we expect the fierce competition in the mobile market to sustain the downward pressure on ARPUs in the short-to-medium term.
Egotel won a national Network Facilities (NF) licence to provide fixed-line and mobile network...