Push to bring 3G to rural areas

Airtel, Millicom (Tigo) and Vodacom are launching six pilot sites across the country in a bid to bring 3G Internet to 13 million 'offline' people living in rural areas. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

Airtel, Millicom (Tigo) and Vodacom are launching six pilot sites across the country in a bid to bring 3G Internet to 13 million ‘offline’ people living in rural areas. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

Three mobile network operators (MNOs) have committed to bring 3G Internet to 13 million offline people in rural areas.

Airtel, Millicom (Tigo) and Vodacom are launching six pilot sites across the country to test sustainable provision of their mobile broadband services.

“This cooperation between the Tanzanian MNOs demonstrates that the industry is committed to connecting the unconnected – particularly the millions living in rural areas – and enabling them to gain access to essential internet services,” says Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA.

GSMA, which is involved in the MNO collaboration along with the Tanzanian government, represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.

“Digital inclusion has become a strategic priority for operators and the government alike. Building on the 17 million citizens who currently access the internet, this initiative will focus on the remaining 13 million citizens in Tanzania yet to be connected to the internet,” says Granryd.

Currently, 85 percent of Tanzanians have access to 2G networks and only 35 percent have access to 3G — mostly in urban areas.

The announcement was made at the Mobile 360 – Africa event which is taking place in Dar es Salaam from July 26 to 28.

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