Mobile money transfer company Dahabshiil Group has denied reports that it has acquired a majority stake in Somali telecoms operator Telcom Somalia, according to a report by Somalilandpress. ‘Lately, the Somali media have been circulating various versions of Dahabshiil’s takeover of Telcom Somalia and that their staff have been laid off,’ chief of media relations and public information at Dahabshiil, Hassan M. Jamahe, said in a statement, adding: ‘Dahabshiil wants to make crystal clear that these rumours are far-fetched, preposterous and far from the truth. Dahabshiil has no affiliation nor interest in the affairs of Telcom.’ Telcom Somalia is headquartered in Mogadishu’s Bakara market and provides fixed and mobile services in Somalia and the northeastern region of Puntland. Dahabshiil already owns Somaliland-based Somtel International, which launched mobile services in the region in March 2010 and introduced a 3G network last year.
Somalia’s telecoms market is completely unregulated, enabling firms to freely install and operate their own networks as they choose, states TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. 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 protected by militias, offering mobile and fixed telephony services, including local, long-distance and international calls.