(2012-07-04) Tanzanian newspaper The Daily News reports that Mozambique’s third mobile operator Movitel is in talks with the people responsible for building Tanzania’s National Information Communications Technology Broadband Backbone infrastructure (NICTBB), with the aim of having the link extended to reach the country’s border.
The NICTBB from the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam reaches Mtwara, but Movitel wants the government of Tanzania to extend coverage the remaining distance towards the border so that the cellco can secure a back-up for its existing operations in Mozambique. The NICTBB technical coordinator, Aninta Chingumbe, reportedly told the Daily News: ‘that the two are negotiating and that a feasibility study has been carried out in the area’.
Ms Chingumbe went on to say that the discussions centre on how Mozambique could be connected from the Umoja bridge at Mtambasawala on the border with Tanzania. ‘The talks may result in a deal,’ she said.
It is understood that Movitel’s interest in the plan was piqued after state-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) signed a USD6.7 million, ten-year deal to supply 1.244GB of internet bandwidth to Rwanda.
The contract, the first signed by a member of the East African Community (EAC) with another EAC member state, was made possible using the international submarine cable systems EASSy and SEACOM.
Following the signing of the TTCL deal, it is believed that other landlocked countries in the region – including Zambia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi – may now express interest in using Tanzania’s newly built NICTBB to access international sub-sea cables that landed in the Indian Ocean recently.