MIC Tanzania Limited

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This article refers to Tanzania based subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular, which is a Telecommunications Company based in Luxembourg. For the main article, see tiGO.
MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO)
Type Public
Industry Communications Services
Founded November 30, 1993
Headquarters Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Key people

Pablo Guardia - CEO,

Daniel Barrientos - Marketing Manager
Products Tigo Life, Multi-media portal, Message portal, Content portal, My WAP, Tigo Back Tones, Topic portal,
Website tiGO.co.tz

MIC Tanzania Limited ( tiGO ) is the oldest wireless Telecommunications company in Tanzania with 13.6% market share in the country. MIC Tanzania Limited ( tiGO ) was formerly known as Mobitel when it started to offer mobile telecommunication services in Tanzania, it was then known as Buzz when the company started to use GSM network in 2001. Since 2006 the mobile phone company is commonly referred to as tiGO in the aftermath of the full control taken by Millicom International Cellular to the company.[1]

The mobile company was the first licensed operator in the Tanzanian cellular market. tiGO, which at the time known as Mobitel was partially state owned launched the first analogue ETACS network in Dar es Salaam in 1994 and on Zanzibar the following year.[2] tiGO introduced its GSM services in August 2001. As at December 31, 2006, tiGO's GSM network was consisting of 501 base stations with the capacity to handle a maximum of 740,000 concurrent subscribers, and covered about 50% of the total population in Tanzania.[3]


MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO) was found on November 30, 1993. This corporation was a joint venture between Millicom International Cellular based in Luxembourg, Ultimate Communications Limited of Tanzania and Tanzania Posts and Telecommunications Corporation. In this venture, 27.7% of the issued share capital were alloted to the Ultimate Communications Limited and Tanzania Posts and Telecommunications Corporation.[4]

In 1993, there was liberalization of telecommunication sector in the country which result into dissolution of Tanzania Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (TPTC) in early 1994. Its shares ware then transferred to Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited. Further steps towards full liberalization of the market causes the privatization of TTCL on February 23, 2001 and its shares were transferred to the Tanzanian Government.

Millicom Takes Full Control Over MIC Tanzania (tiGO)[edit]

In February 2006, after buying out its minority shareholders, the Luxembourg-based pan-African mobile operator Millicom International Cellular announced to take a full control of three of its African-based Mobile operators including MIC Tanzania limited.

In Tanzania a USD 1.332 million deal enables Millicom to acquire the remaining 16% stake it did not already own after the cellco’s minority shareholders agreed to cancel their call option on the business. Since then Millicom is the full controller of the company.

Free night calls for tiGO customers[edit]

Since it was referred to as Buzz, tiGO has been offering free night calls for quite a long time. Due to this service tiGO attracts the interest of many students in Tanzania. In this way tiGO becomes more competitive in the telecommunications industry within the country.[citation needed]

Many customers have been complaining about this service and asking tiGO to remove it. Some claims that the service is unbearable as it is difficult to make even an emergency call at nights.[5]

Technically, the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) claims that, offering free services during that period causes communication jams merely because of low capacity of the tiGO’s network. In the aftermath, tiGO was considered to cheat its customers through media advertisements and TCRA warned tiGO against this service and proceeded by announcing that "Operators who cheat customers that they offer free services, but don’t do so will face punishment."[6]

Free night calls for Tigo customers is the service also offered by tiGO Ghana.[7]

Other Telecom Companies In Tanzania[edit]

Network Operator Any Fixed line/Cable service? Technology Deployed Any Plan for Wimax? Company strategies
TTCL Yes - copper Cables; leased lines; basic POTS; ADSL; SDSL. Mobile & Fixed Wireless: CDMA (3G) Coverage area: At first major cities, later to cover the whole country Yes Major strategy: voice access and backbone provision. National and international calling; Internet access, International gateway license; video on demand in the future?
Celtel Tanzania No GSM 900/1800/400; GPRS, EDGE Not indicated Mainly voice; carrier of carriers
MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO) No GSM 900/1800, 3G 900/2100 Yes, currently doing initial steps – no frequency application yet Voice, Mobile Broadband and Mobile Money
Vodacom Tanzania No GSM 900/1800, plans for 3G rollout by 2007 (frequency allocated) Yes – spectrum guaranteed by regulator for 3.5 GHz. Targeting data transfer for corporate sector – major cites Basic voice services; data transfer
ZanTel No GSM 900/1800 – planning for 3G CDMA – Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Pemba National roaming agreement with Vodacom on the mainland Yes Voice; access to the international gateway

See also[edit]

  1. Celtel Tanzania
  2. Vodacom Tanzania
  3. Vodacom
  4. 3G Technology
  5. Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited
  6. Celtel International
  7. Celtel Africa Challenge


  1. ^ [1] Millicom buys out Mobitel Tanzania.
  2. ^ [2] Millicom buys out Mobitel Tanzania
  3. ^ [3] Millicom International Cellular SA MICC.O (NASDAQ)
  4. ^ [4] Invitation to Investors To Purchase the Government Shares in MIC (Tanzania) Limited (Trading as MOBITEL)
  5. ^ [5] Customers asking tiGO to reomve Free Calls at night
  6. ^ [6] TCRA warns cellphone providers over ’free’ services
  7. ^ [7] Free night calls for Tigo customers