TANZANIA – Zanzibar residents will start to access faster mobile telecommunication after Vodacom Tanzania announced a plan to roll out 4G network in the next one year reports All Africa.

The 4G network is the fourth generation of broadband network technology, succeeding 3G. Average 4G download speeds are between 8 and 10 megabits a second (Mbit/s), with possible instances of up to 40 Mbit/s. Typical upload speeds are between 5-6Mbit/s, with possible instances of up to 15Mbit/s.

This is part of the company’s plan to extend services to the Isles, according to managing director Hisham Hendi. Mr Hendi said this during an event to celebrate Zanzibar’s heritage and culture, noting that the decision seeks to boost the firm’s strength in the Isles.

“Whenever I visit Zanzibar, I feel like I am at home in Egypt. It is a bit shameful when I come home and don’t see Vodacom as strong as it should be. This is why we are looking up to expanding our services in Zanzibar hopeful very soon,” said Mr Hendi.

The event, which took place at 6 Degrees South Restaurant, brought together more than 100 delegates, including government officials, members of the private sector and prominent members of the society.

Meanwhile, Vodacom Tanzania has extended its M-Pesa payment system (Lipa Kwa M-Pesa) to enable subscribers of other networks to directly remit their payments through the platform.

The Lipa Kwa Simu service is meant to boost financial inclusion while smoothening mobile payments whereby merchants and business owners using Lipa kwa M-Pesa will now accept payments from other mobile money networks.

This service will make payments easy in bars, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, petrol stations, cinema halls, pharmacies, hardware stores because customers will no longer be required to carry wads of money.

The Vodacom Tanzania director of M-Pesa, Epimack Mbeteni, said the company saw the need to extend its payment system for both retail and online from other networks and mobile banking while influencing adoption of digital payments as the mainstream mode of payment.

“Lipa kwa Simu is a revolutionary move by Vodacom towards driving a cashless society by enabling inter-operability in payments across all networks and banks,” he said.

Through Lipa kwa Simu, he said, merchants and business owners can receive payments from all networks and banks increasing their efficiency and security