THE availability of afford affordable smartphones in the market has enhanced internet penetration to over 40 per cent, pushing up demand for data.
Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) quarterly report for the period between April and June, this year, shows internet users through mobile wireless technology grew to over 18 million.
The availability of internet services through other technologies namely fixed wireless and fixed wired was over 1.2 million and 629,474 respectively. Mobile phone subscriptions in the country have reached over 40 million by June, this year.
According to internet world stats, mobile phone subscriptions reached 6.8 billion which is approaching the 7.1 billion world population.
Marketing Coordinatorfor Vodacom Tanzania in Kasulu District, Kigoma Region, Mr Deogratius Chubwa, said recently that the expansion of universal communication into the rural-urban centres is creating huge demand for data and other products in the telecom sector.
"There is high demand for data services which is one of the fast growing business for the telecom firms to capitalise, thus expansion of communication services into the underserved population in the rural areas present huge opportunity," he said.
Apart from cheap and affordable smartphones, he said there is continued investment in the expansion of 3G network infrastructure in rural urban centres.
The GSMA Mobile Economy 2017 report shows that at the global level, there were 3.8 billion smartphone connections during the end of 2016, accounting for half of total connections excluding machine to machine worldwide.
Adoption rates have reached 65 per cent of the connected base in developed markets, where smartphone connections reached 47 per cent of the total base at the end of 2016 and are forecast to reach 62 per cent by 2020.