Somalia moves to regulate anarchic telecoms sector

3 Jul 2013

Somalia is developing legislation to oversee the thriving telecommunications sector in a bid to boost growth and encourage investment in the country, Hiiraan Online reports. Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunication Abdullahi Elmoge Hersi and representatives from private sector companies and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have held discussions in Dubai on a proposed telecoms bill, which is to be tabled in parliament. Elmoge said that while existing operators have made significant efforts to expand telecoms services across the country, a lack of regulation has led to the misuse of radio spectrum. ‘Our aim is not to interfere [with] the telecommunications companies but is to put in place regulatory laws that can uphold the interests of customers and suppliers,’ the minister added.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Somalia’s wireless market is currently unregulated, a situation which has enabled firms such as Hormuud Telecom (HorTel) and Nationlink to freely install and operate their own networks as they choose. Before 1991 the country’s communications networks were under government control, but following the onset of the civil war, the entire telecoms infrastructure was all but destroyed. New infrastructure has since sprung up, installed by a number of small local operators, offering mobile and fixed telephony services, including local, long-distance and international calls.

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