Tanzania ICT Minister says mobile phone costs down due to fiber network [Bikya Masr (Egypt)]
(Bikya Masr (Egypt) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Tanzania says cable, fiber network help reduce voice call costs.
ADDIS ABABA: Tanzania's ICT Minister Makame Mbarawa said that the country is seeing a reduction in overall mobile phone call costs by nearly 40 percent in the past three years as a result of the introduction of the country's fiber optic network through the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB).
Mbarawa said it now costs TZS 59 for one minute voice calls on the same network, compared with TZS 147 in 2009.
NICTBB connected to Seacom in July 2009 and EASSY in April 2010, extending connectivity to neighboring countries as part of Tanzania's efforts to improve its telecom infrastructure.
"The virtual landing stations of the submarine cables through the NICTBB have been established at the cross-border points of Rwanda (Rusumo station), Uganda (Mtukula station), Malawi (Kasumulo station), Zambia (Tunduma station) and Kenya (Namanga, Sirari and Horohoro stations)," the ministry said.
Mbarawa said that the government "has introduced a universal communication fund to facilitate telecommunications to communities in areas with fewer business attractions and that all areas will be covered by 2014."
The minister added that the ministry was continuing to look at means of boosting its overall infrastructure for the telecom industry and hoped that future efforts would continue to ease the costs on users in the East African country.
Mbarawa added that "the Mbeya Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) has been upgraded to university status (Mbeya University of Science and Technology or MUST) and that a total of 235 Tanzanian students are currently undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha," which he argued was a step in the right direction to promote local development of the telecom industry.
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