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Tanzania threatens to disconnect 39 million subscribers

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Tanzania , 27 Sep 2019

Tanzania threatens to disconnect 39 million subscribers

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has threatened to disconnect over 39 million mobile phone subscribers who fail to register their SIM cards via the country's mandatory biometric system by 31 December 2019.

According to the regulator, to date only 5.2 million mobile phone users (12%) of the total number of subscribers have complied.

Fredrick Ntobi, head of TCRA's communication department warned the regulator would not extend the deadline to accommodate late registrations.

According TCRA statistics, Vodacom Tanzania is the country's largest operator with 32% market share followed by Tigo with 29% and Airtel Tanzania with 25%.

Vodacom Tanzania managing director Hisham Hendi has warned that the directive could negatively impact the company's operations, with the company so far having managed to register 2 million of the 14 million customers currently on its network.

Hendi is quoted by Bloomberg as saying "this directive has significant implications for costs and could potentially lower our customer base growth next year."

Zambia implemented biometric SIM card registration in May 2019 to curb crime that law enforcement officials believe is linked to fraudulent SIM cards.

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