Vodacom Tanzania MD Philip Besiimire chatted to Connecting Africa Editor Paula Gilbert at MWC Kigali 2023 in Rwanda about Tanzania's competitive telecoms market and which growth areas Vodacom is focusing on into 2024.
The mobile financial services business has become a major focus area for the company with M-Pesa evolving from purely a person-to-person payment platform to facilitating merchant payments, savings, insurance and loans.
He shared that Vodacom Tanzania has more than 10 million M-Pesa users on its mobile network out of almost 19 million mobile customers so there is a lot of room to grow mobile financial services across its customer base.
"I think the room for growth when it comes to mobile financial services is how you connect relevant products to customers. What I love about financial services – and why I still believe there is still a lot of room for growth – is that we are actually solving day to day problems, we are taking friction out of people's lives and that attracts customers to us," he said.
We discussed Vodacom's strategy for 4G growth and making devices more affordable for users through smartphone financing projects.
In September 2022, Vodacom Tanzania became the first mobile operator to launch 5G in the East African nation.
"We believe that the biggest use case for 5G is going to be enterprise and government, for example 5G private networks and connectivity of industry," he explained.
Besiimire believes that for consumer uptick on 5G, the industry still needs to solve the device affordability issue to make 5G-enabled smartphones more attainable.
— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa