When 2019 ends tomorrow, featurephone subscriptions in Tanzania will account for 70% of total handset subscriptions. GlobalData – an analytics company- estimates that over the next 4 years, Smartphone subscriptions will grow at an annual rate of 19% and surpass feature phones by 2024.
That means by the end of 2024, there will be over 30 million smartphones in Tanzania.
A number of factors are expected to contribute to this rapid growth including deployment of more advanced tech in the telecommunications industry, improving reach of mobile networks as explained by Lorenzo Solazzo an analyst at Globaldata
This smartphone growth is largely driven by increasing 3G and 4G network deployments by mobile operators such as Vodacom and Tigo. For instance, Vodacom added more than 300 4G sites, covering 23% of the population, and added more than 190 3G sites, reaching 52% of the population in 2018.
Moreover, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) mandated that the country’s mobile operators’ mobile broadband coverage should reach 90% of the population by 2024, providing opportunities for further 3G and 4G deployments in more rural areas and thus more mobile data usage.Lorenzo Solazzo
Outside of aforementioned reasons, MNOs in Tanzania are offering affordable 3G and 4G compatible smartphones such as the Tecno S3 3G phone for US$29. These offerings alongside cheap bundled internet packages give incentives for consumers to own smartphones and consume mobile data and are expected to make the smartphone more popular than basic feature phones in the coming years.