Celtel Tanzania

Celtel Tanzania Limited is the largest Telecommunications company in Tanzania based on coverage area in the country. It is also the second largest Telecommunications company in Tanzania after Vodacom Tanzania based on total wireless costumers with about 1.7 million users (26% market share) by August 2007.

The company is the part of Celtel International, the pan African mobile operator and the largest mobile service provider in Africa outside of South Africa. Celtel Tanzania is the pioneer and part of the "One Network", the world's first borderless network across East Africa. Celtel Tanzania was the first Telecom company to launch GPRS/EDGE service in Tanzanian Market on April 3 2006. In 2007, Celtel Tanzania was awarded the "Most Respected Company Award in the Information Communication Technology" (ICT) category in Tanzania in the Nation Media Group-cum-PricewaterhouseCoopers Survey for Most Respected Companies in East Africa .

Since October , 2004 , Celtel Tanzania has been the only mobile operator that's provides cellular services in many regions of the country. The company has been focusing on connecting rural areas while offers its services in TSH. It was claimed that Celtel Tanzania planned to complete country coverage in three years time. Celtel Tanzania consistently increases its subscriber each year since its commenced operations in 2001.

The company was found in November, 2001 and was the fifth entrant into a highly competitive cellular market in Tanzania. Over the last couple of years, Celtel Tanzania has grown to become the network coverage leader in the country and it has the widest roaming coverage amongst all mobile operators in the country. Celtel Tanzania has its executive headquarter in Celtel House , Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.


Celtel Tanzania came into existence in the country as the result of partial privatization of TTCL on February 23, 2001. This was one of the first steps towards full liberalization of the market. In the aftermath, CelTel International, at that time MSI, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, together with Detecon from Germany, obtained 35% shares from the Government of Tanzania. Thus, the consortium (Celtel International and Detecon ) took over Board and Management control of TTCL and thus made it essentially an autonomous company. Celtel is currently owned by sub group originating from UAE.


Celtel Tanzania was licensed as the mobile operator in the country in November, 2001. The license was the result of Tanzania Communications Commission (TCC ) to decide and to change its zonal licenses into national licenses in 1998. The changes was due to the fact that the numbers of subscribers in the country was very low (i.e. a total of 37,940 in 1998) and operators were concentrating on a few zones only (i.e. the coastal area near Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar).

Celtel Tanzania Partnership

During the privatisation of Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL ) Celtel International was in partnership with Detecon of Germany. The two companies invested an initial $60 million in TTCL in February 2001 for a 35% shareholding in TTCL. In the new partnership with TTCL, Celtel International agreed to be bound by independent "Expert Determination" in the aftermath of a poor financial performance of TTCL for the year 2000. Based on this "Expert Determination", Celtel International made an additional $4.96 million payment.

In early August 2005, Celtel Tanzania and TTCL were legally separated, allowing each to administer its own financial and business operations. In this new formally signed agreement between the Tanzanian Government and Celtel Tanzania, TTCL's shareholding structure remained unchanged, with the government of Tanzania holding 65% and Celtel International the remaining 35%. In the aftermathe, Celtel Tanzania's structure was changed so as to follow the government’s decision to sell a 25% stake in the cellco to Celtel International for USD28 million.


As for June 29, 2007, Celtel Tanzania has been the coverage leader in Tanzania having its footprints across all the regions in the country. The Celtel Tanzania’s world class network allows more individuals from rural and towns within the country to access to vital communication services.

The native Celtel Tanzania network currently consists of all Tanzanian regions and predominantly uses the EDGE/GPRS and GSM 900/1800/400 MHz. Through acquisitions of EDGE/GPRS, which was first introduced in Tanzanian market by Celtel Tanzania, all subscribers anywhere in the Celtel Tanzania coverage area are enabled to access the internet via their laptops or via their appropriate Celtel cell phone to download data onto their handsets.


Celtel Tanzania has the widest roaming coverage amongst all mobile operators in Tanzania. The company has voice roaming and data roaming with 249 networks in more than 115 countries world wide.These figures has been increasing every year. The widest roaming network allows Celtel Tanzania to cover the major business and tourist destinations in Tanzania and abroad .

One Network

In 2006, Celtel Tanzania achieved a world's first in the technology field with the launching of the Celtel’s borderless or seamless network in East Africa. The "One Network" allows subscribers to continue to use their own cellular numbers at local tariff rates and to top up using local recharge vouchers. That has never been happen anyway in the world before.

In addition to "One Network", Celtel customers can access the Internet just as easily and faster via One Office service. In June 2007, Celtel International announced plans to add three more Celtel country networks to its "One Network". The additional countries are Malawi, Sudan (where it operates under the Mobitel brand), and Zambia. Speaking in Dar Es Salaam in August 2007, Celtel Tanzania marketing director Margaret Kositany claims that Celtel focus to make Africa one village.

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: CDMA (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?
Celtel Tanzania No GSM 900/1800/400; GPRS, EDGE Not indicated Mainly voice; carrier of carriers
MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO) No GSM 900/1800, plans for 3G Yes, currently doing initial steps – no frequency application yet Mainly voice
Vodacom Tanzania No GSM 900/1800, plans for 3G rollout by 2007 (frequency allocated) Yes – spectrum guaranteed by regulator for 3.5 GHz. Targeting data transfer for corporate sector - major cites Basic voice services; data transfer
ZanTel No GSM 900/1800 – planning for 3G CDMADar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Pemba National roaming agreement with Vodacom on the mainland Yes Voice; access to the international gateway

See also

  1. Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited
  2. MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO)
  3. Vodacom Tanzania
  4. Celtel International
  5. Celtel Africa Challenge
  6. Vodacom
  7. 3G Technology

External links

  2. Celtel's official website


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