Bucking a global trend of pressurising regulators to limit so-called over-the-top apps and services, Tanzania telecommunication company, Tigo has announced free WhatsApp services for its 10 million users.
This makes Tigo the first telecom in the country to offer the social media service for free. General manager Diego Gutierrez says this once again demonstrates its leadership in delivering cutting-edge technology and innovations.
Making the announcement in Dar es Salaam on 2 February, Gutierrez said all Tigo customers subscribing to the company’s weekly and monthly internet will henceforth be entitled to free WhatsApp service.
“From now onwards, all Tigo customers buying any of our weekly or monthly packages will be eligible to enjoy free WhatsApp. This, of course, is for customers with data enabled devices,” said Gutierrez.
He said that the service woildbe available on iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Nokia Symbian60-phones.
WhatsApp is a sister application to Facebook, the social network that Tigo partnered with in 2014 to become the first telecom in Tanzania to give its customers free Facebook access in Kiswahili, the country’s national language, also widely spoken in east, central and southern African countries.
In the past three years the company has launched over 500 network sites bringing to over 2,000 the total number of its network sites countrywide. It plans to double this investment by 2017 in terms of coverage and additional capacity networks for deeper penetration in rural areas.
Tigo in 2015 announced an increased annual investment of US$120 million per year on infrastructure improvement and expansion, 20% higher than Tigo’s annual spending in the past three years.
Tigo is the biggest commercial brand of Millicom, an international company developing the digital lifestyle in 12 countries, with commercial operations in Africa and Latin America and corporate offices in Europe and the USA.