Vodacom to invest into Tanzanian network expansion

Vodacom Tanzania mobile telecomsVodacom Tanzania currently has more than 9.7 million users in Tanzania. (Image source: Discott/Wikimedia Commons)South African telecoms firm Vodacom has announced plans to invest US$124 million in Tanzania as part of an attempt to expand its network in the East African country

The company's MD, Rene Meza, said he expected the largest mobile phone operator in Tanzania to continue the growth in subscriber numbers throughout 2013 despite strong competition from across the sector.

"This year will see us invest more than US$124mn in network expansion, data and [mobile phone cash transfer service] M-Pesa," Meza said.

Meza warned, however, that rising taxes could hinder the Tanzanian mobile sector as the government attempts to benefit from the fast growth of its telecommunications industry.

The government plans to introduce a new tax of US$0.62 per month on every SIM card. It also has plans in place to introduce an excise duty of 0.15% on money transfers.

"The mobile industry in Tanzania is already heavily taxed. Additional taxes will definitely discourage investment particularly for rural expansion," remarked Meza.

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