Viettel to spend $1b on Tanzania expansion

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 Oct 2014

Vietnam's Viettel plans to spend $1 billion to roll out a 3G network and other services in the east African nation of Tanzania.

The operator plans to offer low-cost smartphones and provide free internet access to schools, hospitals and offices as part of its commitment to the nation, Reuters reported.

Viettel picked up a mobile license in Tanzania earlier this month, and plans to launch services next July.

Tanzania's mobile market is currently controlled by Bharti Airtel, Etisalat's Zantel, Vodacom Tanzania and Tigo Tanzania. The nation has around 29 million mobile customers, representing a mobile penetration of around 64%.

As part of new regulations taking effect next year, Tanzania's mobile operators will be required to list on the local stock exchange, according to the report.

But some foreign-owned operators have warned that the requirement will serve as an additional obstacle for international players seeking to enter the market.

Viettel's expansion into Tanzania follows its launch in Peru in July, after winning a license in 2012. State-owned Viettel is seeking to expand internationally to help diversify its business.

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