Tanzania’s Telecom Giant TTCL: Navigating the Tides of Change
Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), once a prominent player in the industry, is grappling with significant operational challenges. The company’s market share has shrunk to a mere three percent, with only 1,559,090 subscribers out of a total of 64.089 million as of June 2023. The intense competition from mobile telecom operators has led to this drastic loss in subscribers, leaving TTCL’s new managing director, Mr Maharage Chande, with the task of restoring the company’s dwindling influence in the sector.
Transitioning to Broadband: A Potential Lifeline
In light of TTCL’s dwindling fixed subscriptions, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has suggested that the company should focus on providing broadband and fostering fair competition in the market. The former managing director of TTCL, Mr Peter Ulanga, unveiled plans to connect an additional one million households to high-speed fibre optic internet services by 2027. The company aims to expand its internet service to 100 districts by January 2024, covering all 139 districts in the country by December 2024 – an ambitious plan that could potentially pave the way for TTCL’s comeback.
Mr Chande, the new managing director, brings to the table a wealth of experience and leadership skills. With a career that includes significant roles such as the Regional Managing Director at MultiChoice Africa and the Head of Information Technology at Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Chande possesses a deep understanding of the tech industry. His tenure at Vodacom Tanzania further solidifies his reputation as a leader in the telecom landscape. Analysts are hopeful that Mr Chande can leverage his technical knowledge and leadership skills to steer TTCL in a new direction.
Bureaucratic Challenges and the Path Forward
However, the road to revitalising TTCL is fraught with challenges. Mr Chande will need to navigate the bureaucratic hurdles associated with state-owned institutions, where decisions can often be mired in tedious and complicated administrative procedures. Despite these challenges, Chande’s proven track record in leadership and his technical expertise hold promise for TTCL’s future.
The telecom industry is undergoing significant transformation, with the source of competitive advantage shifting from network coverage and speed to user level quality of experience, deployment speed, and innovation in network services. Technological breakthroughs in analytics, virtualization, and cloudification are paving the way for new levels of efficiency and revenue generation for operators. In this rapidly evolving landscape, TTCL will need to seriously consider upgrading its network to stay competitive.
Poverty and Inequality: The Larger Context
TTCL’s struggles come against the backdrop of Tanzania’s broader socio-economic challenges. Despite nearly two decades of macro-economic growth, Tanzania remains one of the poorest 15 nations in the world, with more than two-thirds of the population living below the internationally recognized income poverty line of USD 1.25 per day. Economic growth has largely failed to improve incomes for the majority of the population, particularly those working in agriculture and in rural areas where most of the country’s poor reside.
As TTCL navigates the complex landscape of the telecom industry, its success or failure will have significant implications for Tanzania’s socio-economic development. The company’s ability to revitalise its operations, expand its broadband services, and adapt to the rapidly evolving industry dynamics will be critical for its future. Under the leadership of Mr Chande, TTCL has a promising chance to reclaim its position in the market and play a crucial role in bridging Tanzania’s digital divide.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.