- Published on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 00:00
- Written by EDITOR
- Hits: 967
THE move by the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) to sell internet bandwidth to some neighbouring countries is good news and appealing indeed.
According to a comprehensive business plan by the telecom giant; Burundi, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia are some of the markets which have been identified so far with more countries on the line.
TTCL Marketing Manager Nicodemus Mngutu said last weekend that that the company is counting on the country’s network’s guarantee on availability and reliability of 99.8 per cent compared to the rest of the region which is below 70 per cent.
The company is also taking advantage of the country’s resilience of national Information Communication Technology (ICT) broadband backbone.
Available data show that there has been an increase of mobile phone users in the country, from less than 100,000 in the late 1990s to about 20 million in December 2010.This translates to around 50 per cent teledensity.
The telecommunication growth has contributed to about 25 per cent to the national GDP in the 2009/2010 financial year.It's against this background that TTCL’s move will set a good precedent to other local companies to explore new markets in the East and Central African region.
For over four decades now, Kenya has mostly led in exporting products and services to other members in the region, capitalizing on its strong economy and entrepreneurship skills.
Now that TTCL has seen the window of business opportunity to extend wings beyond the borders, companies in the area of food and beverage, banking and insurance, construction as well as engineering should follow such steps.
It’s on record that only a handful of local companies like Techno Brain and Exim Bank have dared to cross the borders and are doing quite well there.
Exim Bank with presence in The Comoros and Djibouti and Techno Brain which operates in more than eleven countries are other good examples worth emulating.
For Tanzania to make its impact felt at the region, the local companies must move out of their traditional markets which offer no long term assurance for growth as a result of an influx of cheap imports.
So, instead of sitting idle while complaining of unfair competition due to cheap imports, the local companies need to draw afresh their business plans by eyeing markets beyond the borders to survive.