According to the 2023 Communication Statistics, telephone penetration in Tanzania is greater than 100%. In theory, this means that nearly everyone in Tanzania has access to a cell phone. The reality is a little different because this rate includes people who have two or more SIM cards registered. Nonetheless, this figure implies that a sizable portion of Tanzanians have access to telecommunications services. This brief addresses the rights of telecom users in the country.

The Basics

Before examining telecom consumers’ rights, we must first acquaint ourselves with basic vital concepts. These include;

Consumer  This is any person who uses electronic communications or services. These are services, the purpose or effect of which is to enable or facilitate electronic communication.
Electronic Communications  “Electronic communication” is defined as radio communication or, as appropriate, the communication of information in the form of speech or other sound, data, text or images by means of guided and unguided electromagnetic energy.
Customer  A customer is any person who obtains or seeks to obtain services of any kind from a person undertaking activities pursuant to electronic communications law. This also includes subscribers to telecom services

Basic Rights

Below we provide some basic [and important] rights of consumers of telecommunications services in the country.

Right to product and services informationA consumer has the right to be provided with information on products and services. The information must be complete, accurate and up to date in a simple and clear English or Kiswahili language or both
Right to contractA consumer has a right to request and receive a copy of the contract or agreement for the provision of services, and such contracts shall be written in plain and clear English and Kiswahili languages.
Third party involvementA consumer has the right to be informed if the provision of services involves a third party.
Data ProtectionA consumer has the right to have its data protected and may claim against misuse of data collected by the provider.
Correct information of advertisements and promotionsA consumer has the right to receive correct and accurate information on promotions and advertisements.
Charging and billingsA consumer is entitled to billing that is accurate, timely and verifiable.
Complaints handlingA consumer has the right to have his or her complaint handled promptly, freely and fairly. This includes a right to be served at the service providers walk-ins and service centres free of charge
Right to quality serviceA consumer has a right to reserve quality services from the service providers. These include network availability and reasonable connecting times.
Number portabilityA consumer has a right to switch providers without necessarily losing his or her mobile numbers in accordance with the stipulated procedures.
AccessConsumers have the right to access communications services. Service providers may not terminate or deny services without justifiable reason in law.


Aside from the rights mentioned above, it is vital to emphasize that consumers have comparable obligations. The most notable is that consumers are bound by the terms and conditions of a service contract. It is thus critical for consumers to be informed of the content of their service agreements before to signing them, as they may contain enforceable provisions with unforeseeable consequences.