> DAR ES SALAAM, July 15 (Reuters) - Tanzania has approved an application by
> South Africa's Vodacom to operate a mobile phone network, making it the fifth
> cellular phone operator in the east African country, officials said on Thursday.
> "We got the award letter from the Tanzania Telecommunications Company the day
> before yesterday and are now processing the licence and registering Vodacom
> Tanzania," Jacqueline Noni, managing director of Planetel Communication Ltd,
> Vodacom's local partner, told Reuters.
> Vodacom Tanzania, the locally registered company, will operate the cellular
> phone network. South Africa's Vodacom will hold a 55 percent stake while
> Planetel, owned by Tanzanian shareholders, will hold a 45 percent stake.
> "The total investment is $90 million and we expect to be operational in about
> six months," Noni said.
> The entry of a fifth mobile phone operator in Tanzania is expected to bring
> down mobile phone rates -- currently between 24 U.S. cents and 39 U.S. cents --
> significantly, and help increase the telephone density in the country.
> Tanzania has one of the lowest telephone densities in the world with an
> estimated seven lines per 100,000 people.
> Thursday, 15 July 1999 09:25:12