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Internet was introduced in Tanzania in the year 1995 and since then, there has been a significant growth in the number of internet users across the country. By the year 2017, 40% of Tanzania’s population had internet access, mainly due to an increase in smartphone access.
Depending on which part of the country you are visiting, Wi-Fi facilities differ in terms of accessibility. Major hotels and lodges throughout the country have Wi-Fi or an internet connection. However, very limited or no Wi-Fi access will be present in some parts of the mountain regions such as Kilimanjaro, during safari trips or in snorkeling spots. Some lodges may offer their clients with a computer with internet access in absence of Wi-Fi facilities. Travelers will find plenty of internet cafes in all major towns while Wi-Fi hotspots also can be found at most places.
These providers deliver both cable and fiber optic broadband while Zanlink also provides wireless or Wi-Fi and WiMax services.
Regional And Miscellaneous Service Providers
Getting set up and staying connected within the country with a local SIM card is easy and inexpensive wherein the data speeds can sometimes be surprisingly fast. The easiest and certainly the best way to get a Tanzanian SIM card is immediately after arrival at any of the international airports. Currently there are five network providers operating in the country namely, Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo, Zantel, and Halotel. Vodacom has the widest coverage in the country while Zantel has the best coverage for Zanzibar. For visitors traveling across large parts of the country, Vodacom is the best choice as it has the greatest all-round coverage. If you intend to spend most of your time in Serengeti and Ngorongoro area, Airtel has a better coverage and is comparably cheaper than Vodacom. And for those mostly visiting only Zanzibar, Zantel is the best provider on the island.
Getting a Tanzanian SIM card is easy and cheap. On arrival at any one of the international airports, tourists may find a Vodacom store while exiting from the arrival area. It won’t take more than five minutes to get set up with a SIM card. Alternatively, there are several outlets for various service providers countrywide from where one can purchase a SIM card. Purchasing one from vendors at the streets sitting under company-brand umbrellas is another way to get your SIM card. However, travelers need to produce their passports to acquire a SIM card from any network.
SIM cards and data packages are very cheap in Tanzania provided you don’t get scammed. A Vodacom SIM card and package valid for a week will cost TZS15,000 that includes TZS 1000 for the card, TZS4000 to cut the card size to nano-SIM size, and TZS 10,000 for 4.5 GB data, 200 minutes of domestic calls, and 100 domestic text messages. Topping up cards is a simple process. Look out for a store of your network advertisement and ask to buy a credit that you prefer. You’ll be handed a scratch card with code that you need to enter into your phone following directions of the top-up process. Most of the phones that have been previously unlocked will work in Tanzania in case you carry your phone that you used back at home. It is to be noted that Tanzania uses GSM 900 and 1800 while USA uses GSM 850 and 1900, so it is possible that your phone may not possess the correct frequency bands to work properly in Tanzania. Don’t forget to check the specifications on your phone before you travel. As an option, in case your phone doesn’t work properly, you could buy a cool smartphone that is offered at cheaper prices by operators like Vodacom and Airtel.