Tanzania tackling poor mobile service

In recent months, Tanzania has battled reports of poor mobile phone services, with telecom operators claiming they are working hard to end customers’ frustration with new strategies to reduce dropped calls and bad lines.

Makame Mbarawa, Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, says telecom issues will be resolved once fibre optics reaches every urban city centre. (image: in2eastafrica.net)

Makame Mbarawa, Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, said in an exclusive interview with The Citizen, published in full on Monday, he was looking to boost the country’s infrastructure, calling on telecom operators to implement new policies to improve services.

He said government is “watching carefully” the ongoing struggle of mobile phone operators to bolster their infrastructure in order to deal with rapid rises in subscription numbers in the country.

“Customers experience frequent interruptions, jams and poor voice service. When a subscriber decides to use his phone, he does not want to be inconvenienced,” he said. However, the minister conceded that optic fibre, which facilitates broadband services, was yet to reach every major urban centre in the country. Once completed, some of the current problems would be resolved.

Mbarawa said other East African countries have overcome setbacks as users increased by upgrading infrastructure and said the country’s regulator hopes to be more hands-on in how it deals with local telecom operators.

“That’s one of their chief responsibilities. It also advises service providers on the measures to take whenever there is sort of a breakdown,” he said. Increasing operation snags in the country’s communication sector, just like in many African countries, deny customers optimal value for their money.

Joseph Mayton