Kilimanjaro gets high-speed internet

07 September 2022

Tanzania has installed high-speed internet services on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, allowing anyone with a smartphone to tweet, Instagram or WhatsApp their ascent up Africa’s highest mountain.

The state-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation set up the broadband network in mid-August at an altitude of 3,720 metres (12,200ft), with the country’s information minister, Nape Nnauye, calling the event historic.

“Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters who had to operate without internet,” he said. “All visitors will get connected … (up to) this point of the mountain,” Nnauye said at Horombo huts, one of the camps en route to the peak.

Nnauye added that the summit of the 5,895-metre mountain would have internet connectivity by the end of 2022.

Alper Turken, SVP Sales, EMEA and APAC at network infrastructure provider CommScope, said the news will be welcomed by both tourists and locals; broadband connectivity plays a crucial role as an enabler of economic growth and prosperity across communities. “Internet access will not only improve safety by making it possible to conduct emergency calls in the event of an accident but also allow climbers to stay connected in their quest for the summit,” he added. “Addressing the lack of connectivity in these hard -to-reach areas is certainly a promising step forward in facilitating the delivery of a wide range of services and applications. As global connectivity improves, we must ensure that certain areas are not left behind and have the necessary fibre and wireless infrastructure. And as we move into a world where 5G underpins how we use the internet, access to speedy and reliable wireless connectivity will only become more important.”

Kilimanjaro is an important source of tourism revenue in Tanzania and neighbouring Kenya, with about 35,000 people attempting to reach the peak each year.