World Telecom Labs (WTL) and AMOTEL have announced that the network they have built in rural Tanzania is now live with residents in three remote villages able to make calls and use the internet for the first time ever.
This innovative and life-changing project is the inaugural work of AMOTEL, the first licensed Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in Tanzania. Since its launch April last year, the company estimates a mobile subscriber base of about 28 million out of Tanzania’s total population of 50 million.
The network provides voice and data to three villages in the Mwanga District of the Kilimanjaro region, bordered to the northeast by Kenya. They are a two hour drive along rough road to the nearest modest town and at least seven hours from Dar es Salaam. Each village has a minimum of 1500 people with ARPUs of around US$2.5. None of the villages have ever been covered by any kind of telephone network before.
WTL’s award-winning Vivada system (Village Voice and Data) has been installed in each village providing both GSM and wifi networks. Each network has a radius of 12km to cover people living outside the village centres.
“This is a major milestone both for AMOTEL and for Tanzanians in rural areas who want to be able to use their phones, tablets and computers in the same way as people living in more urban areas. The people living in these villages are absolutely delighted to finally be able to call their friends and family and to use the Internet whenever they want. I must acknowledge and praise the help and expertise of the WTL team; the quality and reliability of the coverage is exceptional.” said Professor Robert Mabele, The Board Chairman of Mkulima African Telecom Company Limited, MTC-AMOTEL.
AMOTEL’s networks were financed by the Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) as part of its US$9.6 million investment to improve connectivity in Tanzania.
Following the success of these networks, AMOTEL hopes to connect another 50 villages over the next six months and 500 within two years as part of its mission to embrace new innovations and developments to serve low ARPU rural areas with little or no infrastructure.
The company is now looking for additional investments to fund these networks.