By Damas Kanyabwoya
A Zanzibar-based Internet Services Provider (ISP) has become the latest Tanzanian company to connect with Seacom submarine fibre optic cable.
Zanlink whose trade name is Zee Communications Limited becomes the first ISP in the country to be connected with the cable.
This is expected to increase competition among ISPs, improve service delivery and lower prices. The Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited and SimbaNet are linked up with Seacom.
Zee Communications noted in a statement that its customers would get up to three or four times more bandwidth speeds.
“This means that clients can now experience true broadband for faster surfing, downloading, online gaming, video conferencing VPN and WFI, applications that were difficult in the past due to the bottleneck in the bandwidth speeds.
” It also indicated that broadband prices were likely to fall for residential users, small and medium businesses as well as large corporate and public sectors.
There have been apprehensions among customers on whether Internet and data prices will decline following the landing of the Seacom cable in the country last month.
But an Information and Communications Technology expert Edephonce Nfuka said the lowering of prices would depend on a number of factors including competition among data wholesalers and ISPs.
“For Internet and data prices to go down some regulatory mechanisms, for example, by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority will have to be put in place especially on ensuring the whole sellers/ISPs involved in this venture are several, competitive and getting it at the expected reduced prices.
“Once lower prices are achieved at that level and competition is encouraged, the consumers’ price is likely to be lower as well,” he told The Citizen.
The prices will also depend on how the structures in which the bandwidth will be sold to wholesalers and ISPs and if such modalities will motivate them to compete.
For far only one data wholesaler, SimbaNet has announced that its prices will fall by about 50 per cent as a result of the connection with the Seacom submarine cable.