The Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) has signed a contract with Communications Service Providers (CSPs) who won the tenders of providing services in rural areas.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam during the signing ceremony, UCSAF Chief Executive and Fund Manager, Eng Peter Ulanga said four companies won the extension and provision of telecommunications services to 55 under-served wards in the country.
He mentioned the companies that won the tender as Vodacom Telecommunication Ltd, Tigo (MIC), Airtel and Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL). "The UCSAF established to promote universal access to information and communications technology in the country," said Eng. Ulanga.
Explaining, Eng. Ulanga said the fund is responsible for enabling accessibility and participation by communication operators in the provision of communication services in order to promote social, economic development in both rural and urban undeserved areas.
He further added that the fund's aim is to provide for availability of communication needs of legal framework for universal services providers to meet communication needs of consumers.
Speaking on the same occasion, the Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbalawa said the government recognizes the role played by communication service providers in putting up infrastructure in rural and underserved areas.
"The government through the fund has announced a tender for 152 wards, targeting about 1.6 mil people with a maximum estimated subsidy of over 16bn/-," explained Prof Mbalawa who was the guest of honour.
He noted that out of the 152 wards, 52 were won by four CSPs to cover 316 villages with a total subsidy of 10.2bil/- only."We believe that CSPs have a capacity to participate more in the future because government through the fund is planning to advertise tenders for more wards including 100 ones which were left out in the first tender," added the hon. minister.
However Prof Mbalawa asked the CSPs to work closely with the fund to achieve this common objective of reaching out the uncovered population in the country, by participating more actively in the coming tender.