naona bongo kuna zidi kuwa tambarare! hebu chekini na hii wakuu: Going Optic By Elias Mhegera, Dar es Salaam A cellular phone Zain has marked fundamental changes after being connected to the International Submarine Cable System. According to the Zain countrys Managing Director, Khaled Muhtadi the cable marks the first landing projects in both Eastern and Western Africa and it is now linking Tanzania to the rest of the World. Muhtadi said that the facility has brought the much awaited bandwidth, which has increased speed, and reliability to customers including consumers, in the business sector, and educational institutions among others. The Zain CEO in Tanzania said that Seacoms high-capacity voice and data connectivity has brought a significant improvement over the existing satellite networks. Our customers are now enjoying faster internet services, higher quality voice calls, and the elimination of slow dial-up connections, and a dramatic increase in bandwidth he remarked. Speaking to The Express exclusively, he said that this development has enabled customers to experience the fastest end to end mobile internet speeds on offer in Tanzania. He added saying that the development starting with Zains most advanced 3.5G network and providing the highest data through puts over a high capacity connection with Seacom to all major data destinations and hubs in the World. Supporting his boss, Victor Zakayo who is Zains product manager said that the under sea fiber-optic cable is now providing Tanzania and the East African region much needed broadband connectivity. We have realised that now connectivity has increased, the quality of service has tremendously improved, the speed likewise and this has been reflected by our customers themselves said Zakayo. He said that the Eastern and Southern Africa market was ready for the technology but the capability of the service providers was lacking. That is why Zain took advantage of that to become the first cellular phone company to register for the same, says Zakayo. He explains that through feedback from customers, there are significant differences if one opens an internet facility in his/her laptop, or even in the desktop computer. Moreover, through these new developments now Zain customers can easily open other facilities like you tube, media clips and face book applications after realising that the network is fast, reliable and enjoyable. The technology according to Zakayo has increased the capacity in downloading materials, depending on the kind of data that one needs. The differences in terms of comfortability have attracted more customers, who need services as individuals capacity, for telephone facilities, and even for office solutions. On how his company is planning to protect its customers, Zakayo says that cyber crime might affect all users of the internet facility equally. Therefore, he adds, that it is a duty of every stake holder to find ways of protecting himself or herself from the cyber crimes going on. Moreover, says Zakayo Tanzania should take advantage of experiences of other developed countries on how they have tackled such problems, including the consultation of regulatory bodies for the purpose. He therefore asks regulatory authorities to seek expertise from more experienced users and service providers in the field. Another internet services provider from Uhuru One, Mr Baraka Mtunga who is the product and services manager says his company has also realised the profits of joining with the undersea fiber-optic cable in so many ways. Mtunga says that his company which is an affiliate of SEACOM through Selcom has realized how the cost of connectivity is now going down than it used to be previously. We are now moving very fast because costs have gone down which means now many customers are joining our services as the satellite costs have been eliminated says Mtunga. Uhuru One being a wireless provider targets distribution to individual customs leaving aside corporate provision of such services to other companies. However he appreciates the fact that requests from such services are increasing tremendously to as far as Millenium Towers, Mbezi Beach, Airport, Oyster Bay and Masaki. Mtunga says that with proper amenities like adaptors and decoders every Tanzanian will eventually managed to join an internet facility through his or her laptop. Mr Mtunga says that the previous technology was a limiting factor for expansion, but now this has been removed. So far his company sells vouchers in a similar way they are being sold to cellular phones. At least what I can say is that my company had a business plan which had anticipated for the arrival of the fiber optic cable, therefore this has just concurred with what we were planning He says. According to Mtunga his company is facing competition from other companies like Vodacom, Zain, and they sharing more or less similar issues and challenges in the market. Mr Mtunga also highlights that his company will take advantage of the technology by providing internet facility through VOIP rather than the regular GSM by other companies. Describing on the differences, Mtunga says that with VOIP software and services customers do not depend on a central service provider, but rather clients communicate directly with each other peer-to-peer depending on the protocol of the internet. While on the GSM case, customers depend on licensed frequencies. He therefore hopes that the technology that will be used by his company will attract more internet users. We are moving towards an interactive world whereby broadband users, even small business dealers will manage to increase communication aspects that will improve their lives he adds. Mr Mtunga reveals that great communication will definitely have ultimate changes in the lives of the people, socially, culturally and even politically. However, Mr Mtunga admits that providers must organize frequent workshops in order to sensitize their customers and to protect them from the side effect of the technology. Mtunga therefore suggests that the issue of providing education to consumers should not be left to the Government alone but rather it should be a concerted effort of all stake holders in the business. He boasts that so far his company has managed to maintain proper customer care through provision of technical support through the support unit which remains standby 24 hours, to whoever is in trouble.