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Voice telecom and internet penetration in Tanzania 2013-2019

The Internet penetration rate in Tanzania doubled between 2013 and 2019, reaching 46 percent in 2019. That same year, 85 percent of the population were using a voice telecom service.

Mobile phone usage in Tanzania

Tanzania’s mobile industry has been growing since the early 2000s. Out of the 42 million mobile voice subscriptions registered in 2018, roughly half the devices were used to access the internet, indicating the comparatively high number of basic cellphones throughout the country. Apart from voice calls, mobile phones in Tanzania are primarily used for SMS and mobile money services, provided by telecom operators like Vodacom, Tigo and Airtel.

Distribution of web traffic

In 2018, over 95 percent of Tanzania’s 23 million internet users accessed the internet via mobile phone. A similar distribution of web traffic can be seen in other leading African digital markets like Kenya and Nigeria, where mobile phones generated significantly more traffic than PCs. With its 43 percent internet penetration rate, Tanzania was well above the estimated African average penetration rate of 24.4 percent in 2018.

Penetration rate of voice telecom and internet services in Tanzania from 2013 to 2019*

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Release date




Survey time period

2013 to 2019

Supplementary notes

*Voice telecom penetration rates include fixed and mobile voice connections. Internet penetration rates include fixed and mobile wireless, as well as fixed wired services. Penetration rate is shown as share of population.

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