In Tanzania, staying in contact while traveling is seldom an issue. Even in certain national parks, you can obtain good cell phone coverage.
Tanzania’s state-owned telecom, “Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd” (TTCL), operates all pay phones and landlines in the country. Telephone fixed-lines, like in other developing nations, are out of reach for the majority of the population. However, in the last five years, the mobile network has exploded throughout Africa, and Tanzania is no exception. Most Tanzanians choose this option since there are numerous old mobile phones for sale and the cost of obtaining a SIM card is just 2000 Tsh. When most people start a job, the first big purchase they make is a phone. Although service disruptions are frequent, the main mobile service providers operate across the nation, even in some of the most rural regions.
If you appreciate a cab driver or tour guide, ask for his or her phone number. This is often the most effective method of contacting them.
Using a cellular phone You may buy a local SIM card for 500 Tsh from a number of Tanzanian service providers if you have a “unlocked” GSM 900/1800MHz frequency phone (the same frequency used in the rest of the globe excluding the United States and Canada). Airtel, Vodacom and Tigo are the most popular. Zantel is a newcomer on the mainland, and it presently boasts the best network coverage because to a national roaming deal with Vodacom.
Time on the air Scratch-cards, which are widely accessible, may be used to recharge your “Prepaid” mobile phone account. Simply search for stores or even tiny tables with posters for different mobile service providers put up along the route. The denominations of these cards are 500, 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, and 50000 Tsh. You’ll need at least a 10000 Tsh-card if you intend on making regular calls outside of Africa.
Making calls within Tanzania to a mobile phone – Dial “0 & (telephone number)” or “+255 & (telephone number)”
Making calls within Tanzania to a landline – Dial “0 & (city code) & (telephone number)” or “+255 & (city code) & (telephone number)”
Telephone codes for the Tanzanian cities (These numbers are only used when calling landlines) – Dar es Salaam (22), Morogoro & Mtwara (23), Zanzibar & Pemba (24), Mbeya (25), Iringa (26), Arusha & Tanga (27), and Mwanza (28).
Making international calls – Dial “+ & (country code) & (area code, if any) & (telephone number)” or “000 & (country code) & (area code, if any) & (telephone number)”
Except for the initial “0” and the “+255” country code, all cellular carriers altered the second digit in October 2006. So, for example, Vodacom has changed its phone numbers from “4” to “5”, e.g., 744 is now 754. It’s possible that certain publications, books, travel guides, and advertising haven’t made the required changes. All Vodacom phone numbers beginning with 744, 745, 746, and 748 should be replaced with 754, 755, 756, and 784.
Internet cafés are becoming extinct in Tanzania as more people get Internet-enabled mobile phones. They used to be common in large cities like Dar es Salaam and Arusha, and they may still be.
International telecommunications are limited in capacity and may be unstable at times.
Some mobile service providers have begun to provide wireless internet access. The major service providers are Zantel, Vodacom, Tigo, and Airtel. Mobile internet access is available in all metropolitan areas and many rural regions that have mobile phone service. Many parts of Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and many smaller towns, as well as Zanzibar town, have wireless 3G connectivity.
You may use the mobile browser on your phone to access this service. To use it with a computer, you’ll need to buy a CDMA PC Card or a USB mobile receiver that connects to your computer. This will cost you about 200,000 Tsh. It will also work if you have an unlocked CDMA phone and a modem cord.
Scratch cards, like mobile phones, are used to earn airtime. For 1 Mb, connection fees are about 60 Tsh, or US$0.05 per MB. So you’ll have to pay $50 for 1 GB of download and upload. It’s not cheap.
A Tanzanian pay-as-you-go SIM card, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for mobile phone usage. A call to Europe is less expensive than the other way around, and data is affordable for email and online surfing.
Some providers, such as Powernet (Bibi Titi Mohammed Road, Elia Complex) 0658769376, 0787769376, 0757769376, 0777769376, provide unlimited Internet access everywhere in Dar-Es-Salam for Tshs 30,000/-. (USD 20).
Emergency Services: 112
In 2006, there was a major controversy concerning the emergency service number, which resulted in the Chief of Police’s resignation. During an armed robbery at a renowned Indian restaurant, an employee called 112 to alert the authorities to the incident. He hung up after letting the phone ring for almost 30 minutes. The next day, the media revealed that the emergency line had been unplugged for more than a month and that the police had failed to notify the public.
Fortunately, the emergency number has been restored; nevertheless, if possible, go directly to the closest police station rather than calling 112.