|Customers select smart devices in a Viettel shop in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI (VNS) — Military-run telecom group (Viettel) launched mobile operations in Tanzania under the Halotel brand on October 15.
With a population of more than 50 million, Tanzania is the most populous foreign country in which Viettel has invested. Halotel is the only 3G mobile network provider operating in all 26 Tanzanian provinces, even in rural areas where 80 per cent of the country's population lives.
The company's infrastructure – with 2,500 2G and 3G BTS and 18,000km of fibre cables – is 2.5 times greater than in the whole of Tanzania.
Viettel aims to bring telecom services as well as information technology into people's lives, thus contributing to the country's socio-economic development. The project was considered the best investment project in 2014 in East, West and Central Africa at the International Investors Conference 2015.
Viettel has committed to cover more than 4,000 villages in Tanzania with 3G services. By the end of this month, its 3G coverage in the country will be 1,800 villages.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Viettel's General Director Nguyen Manh Hung said the difference in per capita GDP between a rich and a poor country could be up to 50 times. The difference can be seen in a country in terms of income, people's lives and rural and urban areas.
|Tanzania is the most populous foreign country in which Viettel has invested. Halotel is the only 3G mobile network provider operating in all 26 Tanzanian provinces, even in rural areas where 80 per cent of the country's population lives. — VNS Photo
"It is not easy to narrow the gap. However, we could narrow the gap in telecommunications and IT in the short term. The provision of telecommunication and IT services would be a chance to promote socio-economic development in developing countries such as Viet Nam, Tanzania and Mozambique," Hung said.
Viettel Tanzania's General Director Nguyen Thanh Quang said the company aimed to make Halotel among the top three companies in Tanzania in the next three years and the number one company in the next three following years.
The launch in Tanzania – the fourth market in Africa following Mozambique, Cameroon and Burundi – has helped the group to expand its presence and improve its position in the region.
Viettel has invested in 10 foreign countries in Asia, America and Africa, covering a total population of more than 260 million people and 75 million customers.
Its total revenue last year was US$10 billion, with the revenue from overseas telecom investments totalling $1.2 billion.
Viettel Global is now conducting market research in a number of other African countries, such as Burkina Faso, Kenya, Swaziland and Cote d'Ivoire, besides Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Madagascar, with a view to expanding its African footprint even further. — VNS