Tigo Tanzania has become the second largest player in the Tanzanian telecom market with the highest growth rate, recent statistics by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) have revealed.
The 2015 quarter four results, released online recently by TCRA in a document titled, the Performance in Tanzania’s Telecom Industry, for the trading period ending 2015 show that for the past two years, Tigo has recorded the fastest growth rate among other telecoms in the country.
TCRA shows in the report that, out of the 6.7 million total industry growth during the period,
Tigo grew by 2.5 million which is equivalent to 37 percent, or in two years from 11.4 million, Tigo scooped 4.8 million which is equivalent to 42 percent, the highest growth rate in the telecom sector.
Tigo’s enviably gigantic leap effectively positions it as the fastest growing telecommunications company in the country.
According to the country’s communications regulatory authority, Tigo increased its traffic by 2.3 billion minutes while its total market grew by 2.8 billion, compared to Vodacom which dropped by 1.5 billion while Airtel grew by 1.5 billion. Tigo’s meteoric rise gave it 28% percent market share with its subscriber base rising to 11 115 991, effectively beating Airtel to the second position.
Airtel was relegated to the third position with a similar percentage market share but with 68 486 less than Tigo’s subscription numbers.
Tigo now is breathing down the neck of Vodacom that leads the pack with 32% market share, a drop from 45% that it recorded in December 2005-with 12 714 297 subscribers, according to TCRA figures.
Responding to questions from the media on the reasons for the surge in growth, Tigo General Manager, Diego Gutierrez, listed the main drivers of the growth as including affordability, innovation, digital financial initiatives, mammoth investments, and the launch of 4G LTE, the country’s fastest mobile internet connection and extensive network expansion.
Diego said other factors are digital inclusion initiatives such as the introduction of free access to the social media for Tigo customers including Facebook in Kiswahili, Smartphone with the menu in Kiswahili, and free WhatsApp messaging application service.
On Tigo investment, Gutierrez said Tigo has been investing about over US$ 120 million per year (US $ 2.3 million per week) mainly on network infrastructure, quality improvement and the roll out of new sites.
According to Gutierrez, the telecom’s unbridled growth has also been spurred by its closeness to the customers in which it has so far opened over 50 customer care shops in most parts of the country and hopes to meet the envisaged target for 2016 of having 100 shops countrywide.
The number of Tigo’s customer service shops is by far the largest in the country’s telecom industry and it has also an extensive network of over 50,000 mobile money agents.
Tigo’s growth has had unequalled developmental impacts in the largest East African country by lands mass that’s the home to a population of over 45 million.
According to Finscope survey, Tigo has immensely contributed to Tanzania’s financial inclusion through its Tigo Pesa mobile financial transfer service. Further, it has contributed to the country’s economic growth through remittance of taxes, and provided over 300 000 direct and indirect employment to Tanzanians.
It has also been at the forefront in supporting community projects through sponsorships and CSR initiatives such as Mobile Birth Registration; support for local artists through Tigo Music platform; provision of scholarships to ICT students in higher learning institutions and through
Tigo Changemakers, an innovative social initiative that identifies, empowers and mentors talented youths to enable them achieve their dreams through offering digital solutions that create bigger impact in the community-the program has impacted over 10 000 people.
“Tigo has a strong corporate social responsibility program that supports a wide range of activities within the focus of education, health and wellbeing and environment that is meant to contribute to improving the lives of people in the community it serves,” says Gutierrez.
Tigo Tanzania is the leading innovative telecommunication company in the country distinguished as a fully-fledged digital lifestyle brand. The company offers a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile money services, Tigo has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, Tigo Pesa App for Android & iOS users, Tigo Music (Deezer), Tigo Backup, Africa’s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion and recently interoperability with Vodacom making Tigo the only operator interoperable with all the main MFS player in the market.
Tanzania was recently named as a world leader in MFS by World Bank and Tigo Pesa was accredited for being a large part of this accomplishment.
Tigo’s robust operational capacity, buoyed by its un-paralleled customer service has led to its scooping local and international accolades that include, GSMA Highly Commended Award in Africa: Best Network Improvement Category, GSMA mWomen Innovation Fund grant,
AfricaCom’s Most Innovative Service Award 2014: awarded for Tigo Pesa interoperability with Tigo Cash (Rwanda) and the Best Social Media (2016) – Tanzania Excellence Award.