By Moses Ferdinand
Mr Abdellatif Bouziani is the Smart Telecom Group Chief Executive Officer for East Africa. His company offers subscribers an opportunity to make a call without minding at a clock ticking, paying only a small amount. He unveiled the new telecommunication development strategy for his firm when he was interviewed by our Correspondent Mosses Ferdinand recently. Excerpts…
Can you please tell us about SMART as a company?
SMART is the newest telecommunications services operator in the market. We are owned by the Aga Khan Development Network, which holds a 51 per cent stake, and Timeturns, the previous owner of Smart, which now holds a 49 per cent stake.
For the people of Tanzania, Smart is better known as BENSON INFORMATICS, a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the market. When we took over in 2013, we decided to give the company a new direction. We installed a new ISP network, capable of 4G, and we worked with ZTE to completely change the network from CDMA to GSM.
We now offer 2G services in Dar es Salaam and Arusha and 3G services in many other parts of Tanzania. We have recently launched 4G LTE in Dar for the mass market. Smart is an operator that covers the whole country. So we offer many services, including 2G and 4G for the mass market and ISP for companies and households.
Where did the name SMART come from?
We decided to create a group across East Africa in Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania and give the three companies the same brand. We launched a campaign called ‘Give Us A Name’ to encourage people living in those three countries to give us names through phone and social media. We collected and short-listed 15 names for voting.
The majority of people in those three countries voted for the name SMART. So, SMART is an East African company. When you are using SMART, it can work in Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi without roaming charges.
Complete interview at: