Viettel to invest $1 billion in Tanzanian 3G

Vietnam’s Viettel has revealed plans to invest $1 billion in a 3G mobile network in Tanzania, Reuters reports.

“Viettel will invest $1 billion in telecoms and other services in Tanzania, hence making Tanzania the second country after Peru to receive its state-of-the-art telecoms technology,” the Tanzanian president office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Driven largely by the demand for 3G services, mobile telecoms in Tanzania has developed rapidly over the past 10 years and there are now an estimated 29 million mobile subscribers, according to figures from the country’s regulator.

The investment was allegedly agreed following a visit from Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania, to Viettel chairman, Manh Nguyen Hung, at Viettel’s headquarters in Vietnam on Monday.

Viettel will compete with four other operators in the country – Bharti Airtel, Zantel, Vodacom Tanzania and Tigo Tanzania – and its investment will include low-cost smartphones as well as free internet services to schools, hospitals and offices.

At Capacity Africa in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, earlier this month, a lively panel session saw operators demanding faster and more compliant regulation from regulators in the country.

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