THE State owned Tanzania Telecommunications Limited TTCL, yesterday inked a 328bn/- or 182 million dollars deal with Huawei Technologies aimed at helping the national telephone communication build its landline and mobile ICT networks.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam, the TTCL Chief Executive Oficer, Dr Kamugisha Kazaura, said the first phase of the project will be completed by June, this year.
He noted that the projects in the deal involve building of a 4G Long Term Evolution, 3G UMTS and 2G GSM, technologies which will help TTCL to expand its services across the entire country at more sophisticated quality.
He pointed out that the technologies would help the company offer higher quality data services. The agreement involves procurement of equipment to take telecommunication services to rural areas under Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF).
UCSAF has been established by Universal Communications Service Access Act, 2006, with the key objective of fostering social and economic development in rural and urban areas through ICT intervention.
Other Objectives of Fund’s establishment include ensuring the availability of communication services in rural and urban underserved areas.
Dr Kamugisha said TTCL has won the contract to take telecommunications services to 69 wards that make up over 400 villages with over 500,000 residents.
Under the UCSAF project, TTCL will get 10 million US dollars for construction of infrastructure in earmarked wards. The agreement between Huawei and TTCL is part of the latter management efforts to improve services and expand them to reach more people across the country.
In a comprehensive plan that seeks to take advantage of the resilience of Tanzania’s National ICT Broadband Backbone, TTCL has recently won deals to sell more gigabytes of internet bandwidth as a commodity to neighbouring countries.
The nation has already closed a 6.7 million dollar, 10-year deal to supply 1.244 gigabytes of internet bandwidth to Rwanda. This means Tanzania becomes the first country in the region to start selling internet bandwidth to other East African Community (EAC) states thanks to the laying of the international submarine fibre-optic cable.
The deal was hailed as testimony to the firm’s growing international reputation. The deal is the biggest of its kind in Tanzania and the region in general.
Under the deal, TTCL is expected to test, install, configure, commission and activate a temporary link with 155 megabytes bandwidth per second by the end of this month.
The state-owned telecommunications firm’s chief said the government’s vision to transform the country into a communication hub for Africa is now within reach.