Free Facebook comes to Tigo Tanzania

Developing markets operator Millicom said Thursday that Tigo customers in Tanzania will be the first consumers in East Africa to get free access to Facebook on their mobile handsets. On the back of a similar service which launched in Latin America in December 2013, Millicom and Facebook have now extended the partnership to East Africa.

Tigo customers can now access Facebook and its mobile messaging application Messenger through their handsets without incurring any data charges. Facebook has also translated it service into Kiswahilií, the language spoken by millions of people across East and Southern Africa.

Tigo has six million customers in Tanzania.

Commenting on the service, Millicom’s president and CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht, said: “Facebook has been a real driver of data on mobile networks. By extending this unique partnership to Africa, we are giving people another reason to connect through Tigo and providing many customers with their first taste of the internet and social media, including in Kiswahili.”

In related news, Millicom also announced that its operation in Bolivia has launched the company’s first direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV service.

The DTH service from Tigo Bolivia coincides with the launch of its cable service in the country following the acquisition of the fixed-line company Multivision in 2013.

The services will be promoted under the “Tigo Star” brand and will launch with 75 channels, including eight in HD, five free-to-air and eight premium services. The service is targeted at over 6.5 million of Bolivia’s 10.5 million people who live outside areas of cable coverage.

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