Deputy Minister for Communication, Science and Technology Charles Kitwanga has said that the ongoing installation of an optic fibre cable will improve telecommunications in the country.

Kitwanga made the remarks in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday during his visit to Airtel Tanzania as part of his familiarisation tour of mobile phone service providers in the country.

He said through the information and communication backbone, mobile phone subscribers across the country will benefit from better services.

“Mobile phone service companies should connect to the optic fibre to improve their services, in realizing its important to the companies,” the minister noted.

He said it was very important to connect to the communication backbone now that more people were using mobile phone services even in remote areas where a few years ago there was none.

For his part, Airtel managing director Sam Elangalloor congratulated the government for its decision to support installation of the optic fibre cable.

“Tanzania is among a few countries with the information, communication and technology broadband backbone. We are proud of the government for sponsoring the project for the benefit of its people,” he said.

Early this year, a senior government official said that installation of the optic fibre cable would be completed at the end of this year.

The project was launched in 2008 and is expected to cost about 251bn/- upon its completion.

Phase 1 came on stream in July 2010 and covers the northern ring of the network with ten Points of Presence (PoP), which includes Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Singida, Iringa, Babati, Arusha, Namanga, Moshi and Tanga.

Phase 2 of the rollout is expected to be completed by December 2011, and will provide operational PoPs at Lindi, Mtwara, Tunduru, Songea, Sumbawanga, Tabora, Kigoma and Manyovu.