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Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited


Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited

Tanzania Telecommunications
Company Limited
Industry Communications Services
Founded 1993 (commenced operations on 1 January 1994 )
Headquarters Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Key people
Mathew Luhanga, Chairman
Bill Beckman, CEO,
Glen Raboud, CFO
Products TTCL Broad band, TTCL Mobile, IP VPN, Prepaid Services, Prepaid Card Calling, Postpaid Services, Rafiki Public Phone, Leased Circuits, Internet Bandwidth, Broadband and Wholesale Administrator
Number of employees
<2,000 (as at July 2007)
Parent Tanzanian Government (65%)

Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) is the oldest and largest fixed line telecommunications company in Tanzania. The company comes forth from the former Tanzania Posts and Telecommunications Corporation in 1993. TTCL was wholly owned by the Government of Tanzania until the partial privatization of the company on February 23, 2001.

TTCL is governed by statute – the Tanzania Telecommunications Act of 1993. The company is licensee for fixed basic telephone services in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar and hence it owns and operates the public switched telephone network in mainland Tanzania and on Zanzibar.[1] Before the coming of mobile operators in late 1994, the company was enjoying monopoly on Tanzania Mainland and a duopoly on Tanzania Zanzibar, where Zanzibar Telecoms Limited (Zantel) was the second licensed fixed basic telephony operator.

The company has been in several joint managements due to its financial instability. In early 2001, Previously as Zain, at that time Dutch MSI, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Detecon took over Board and Management control of TTCL.[2] In this partial privatisation the government of Tanzania sold 35% of its shares to the strategic investors. TTCL pulled out from joint management with the consortium in August 2005.[3] Again in February 2007 the company fell in management of the Canadian firm Sasktel due to the same reason.

In February 1999 TTCL was having an exchange capacity of 192,365 lines and 126,515 connected direct exchange lines (DELs). The company was having a workforce of under 4,000 as at February 1999. The company's revenues were approximately US$112 million in 1998, its earnings before interest, tax and depreciation were approximately US$32 million in the same year, and following a major capital restructuring it had a ‘clean’ balance sheet.[4]

The company has its headquarters and customer care allocated in Extelecom's Building in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. TTCL also has operational and engineering branches in all regions in the country. It has been working with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd as the infrastructure vendor of the company and Ericsson as a long-term strategic supplier of the company.[5]


  • History 1
  • Partial privatization of TTCL 2
  • Network and service development 3
    • Intelligent network 3.1
    • Radio network upgrade 3.2
    • Customer care 3.3
    • Network rehabilitation 3.4
  • Other telecom companies In Tanzania 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


TTCL comes forth from the former East African telecommunications provider. In 1933, the former East African Post and Telegraph Company was incorporating the Tanganyikan, Kenyan and Ugandan Postal, Telegraph and Telephone providers. The East African Posts and Telecommunication Act causes the formation of the East African Posts and Telecommunications Administration in 1951.

In 1967,the East African Community (EAC) was founded and replaced the East African Common Service Organization, in the aftermath, the East African Post and Telecommunications Corporation (EAP&TC) was established and replaced the East African Posts and Telecommunications Administration.

The breaking up of EAC in 1977 forces EAC member countries again to re-establish their own national Postal, Telegraph and Telephone businesses. Therefore in 1978 in Tanzania a parastatal was established under the name Tanzania Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (TPTC).

Telecommunication sector liberalization process in 1993 in Tanzania again causes the splitting up of the TPTC. In this context, the TPTC split into three separate entities, namely the Tanzania Posts Corporation, the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), and the Tanzania Communication Commission (TCC).

TTCL was responsible for Telecommunication services and it was established based on Parliamentary Act, “The Tanzania Telecommunication Company Incorporation Act of 1993”. TTCL officially started operations on January 1, 1994.[6] TTCL's main statutory function was to establish, develop and operate telecommunication and all incidental services within and outside Tanzania in accordance with a licence issued by the Tanzania Communication Commission (TCC).

Partial privatization of TTCL

TTCL Website Screen Shoot, May 10, 2008

The partial privatization of TTCL on February 23, 2001 was one of the first steps towards full liberalization of the market. In the aftermath, Celtel International (previously known as MSI Cellular) which was having its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, together with the German firm Detecon, obtained 35% shares from the Government of Tanzania. In this context, the consortium took over Board and Management control of TTCL on 23 February 2001. Based on this criterion the consortium had a veto over major Board of directors decisions, it had the right to appoint the senior management, to set the annual business plan and to control all capital expenditure decisions.[7]

Initially the consortium invested US$60 million and a second payment was dependenting on the financial performance of TTCL for the year 2000.[2] In this first partial privatization, other shareholders were local financial institutions 14%; international financial institutions, 10%; and TTCL employees, 5%. The government kept 36% of the shares until TTCL goes onto the Stock Exchange and an initial public offering (IPO) is carried out. On August 5, 2005 the Government of Tanzania and Celtel International signed an agreement whereby the shareholders agreed to the restructuring of the two companies and thereafter the TTCL and the Celtel became legally, financially and operationally totally separate companies.

In February 2007 the Government of Tanzania awarded the Canadian firm SaskTel a three year contract to manage TTCL. The contract is a performance based contract requiring the new management team to improve the financial position of TTCL and grow its customer and revenue sources. SaskTel International started to manage TTCL effectively on July 1, 2007. In this contract, SaskTel was responsible for managing all aspects of the TTCL operations, maintenance and expansion of the company in order to improve its financial, commercial and technical performance. Sasktel was in partnership with TTCL even before the contract. In June 2003 Sasktel International was awarded a contract by TTCL to rehabilitate existing external line plant networks.[8]

Because Sasktel was unable to purchase the 35% stake in TTCL when the operator was partially privatised in 2000, the TTCL workers and The Telecommunications Workers Union of Tanzania (Tewuta) were against the contract claiming that Sasktel will only add an unnecessary burden to both the government and the Tanzanian people.[9] In May 2009, SaskTel submitted a 45-day notice that ended 12 July 2009, outlining its intention to pull out of the contract.[10]

Network and service development

The native TTCL network operates on CDMA2000 1X technology with operating frequency of 800 MHz. The company is deployed mobile network and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd is the infrastructure vendor of the company.[11] TTCL has been working with long-term strategic supplier, HUAWEI to launch its "ENGINE" to support IN Network in April 2004.

Intelligent network

In April 2003, TTCL awarded HUAWEI with a contract for the supply of a CDMA2000 1x/EV-DO network. The contract was to fix CDMA2000 networks for the company within the country. Along with the contract HUAWEI delivered an Intelligent Network platform which enabled the company to introduce value added services such as Prepaid services, a Voice mail System, a Short Message Service Centre, Customer Care and Billing System allowing postpaid services.[12] While awarding the contract, the first phase of this network, was already installed in Dar Es Salaam and was commercially opened in September 2006. HUAWEI supplied TTCL with mobile switching centre, base station controllers and base stations which were to be deployed in Dar Es Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha, Moshi, Tanga, Zanzibar and other cities in the country. The contract also required NEC to provide its point-to-point low- and medium-capacity microwave radio systems and HUAWEIcellular network.

Radio network upgrade

The TTCL national radio network was expanded by 34Mbit/s and STM-1 microwave radio equipment in the aftermath of new CDMA2000 network and Intelligent network platform]launched by HUAWEI. The expansion was to replace old systems, expanding the network into new areas and replacing equipment operating in non licensed radio bands.[13] Therefore the upgrading enabled TTCL to provide cost effective digital leased lines to mobile phone operators as compared to the expensive lines via satellite.

Customer care

TTCL Customer Care, Call Center in Extelecoms House, Dar Es Salaam

The customer care of TTCL consist of modern Call Centre which are allocated at the headquarters, Extelecoms House, in Dar es Salaam. It is also equipped with an Automated Call Distribution facility, a Computer Telephone Integrated facility and Integrated Voice Response facility.

Network rehabilitation

Sasktel and TTCL has been working together even before Sasktel took over TTCL management. In June 2003 SaskTel International was awarded the contract by TTCL to rehabilitate existing external line plant]networks in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mwanza and Moshi.[14]In this agreement Sasktel was required to rebuild damaged and destroyed aerial and duct type outside plant as well as rehabilitation of distribution cabinets and distribution points (DP’s).

Other telecom companies In Tanzania

Network Operator Any Fixed line/Cable service? Technology Deployed Any Plan for Wimax? Company strategies
TTCL Yes - copper Cables; leased lines; basic POTS; ADSL; SDSL. Mobile & Fixed Wireless: CDMA2000(3G) Coverage area: At first major cities, later to cover the whole country Yes Major strategy: voice access and backbone provision. National and international calling; Internet access, International gateway license; video on demand in the future?
Airtel Tanzania No GSM 900/1800; Deployed 3G Not indicated Mainly voice;
MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO) No GSM 900/1800, Deployed 3G in Major Cities Yes, currently doing initial steps – no frequency application yet Mainly voice
Vodacom Tanzania No GSM 900/1800, Deployed 3G Yes – spectrum guaranteed by regulator for 3.5 GHz. Targeting data transfer for corporate sector - major cites Basic voice services; data transfer
ZANTEL No Deployed Hybrid, currently on steps to rollout 3G, currently 3G only in Zanzibar and Dar es salaam Yes Voice; access to the international gateway

See also

  1. Vodacom Tanzania
  2. Celtel Tanzania
  3. MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO)
  4. Vodacom
  5. 3G Technology
  6. Celtel International
  7. Celtel Africa Challenge
  8. Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System


  1. ^ [1] the divestiture of the TTCL
  2. ^ a b [2] Conclusion of the privatisation of Tanzania Telecommunications Company
  3. ^ [3] TTCL and Celtel now separate companies 22 August 2005
  4. ^ [4] the divestiture of TTCL
  5. ^ [5] Tanzania’s leading operator TTCL, enters the next generation with an Ericsson ‘Learning Solution
  6. ^ [6] Paper submitted for the 35th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC) in Arlington, Virginia, September 28–30, 2007
  7. ^ [7] The Regulatory Design Problem Revisited: Tanzania’s Pioneering Position in Africa
  8. ^ [8] TTCL Network Rehabilitation Project
  9. ^ [9] Tanzania: TTCL Management Contract Awarded
  10. ^
  11. ^ [10] CDMA2000 Operators
  12. ^ [11] Huawei supplies CDMA2000 network in Tanzania
  13. ^ [12] Network and Service Development
  14. ^ [13] TTCL Network Rehabilitation Project

External links

  • Tanzania Agrees To Buy Back Bharti Airtel's Stake In State Telecom
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