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Somalia’s telcos pass deadline for securing licences

Developing Telecoms
Tuesday January 18, 2022

 


Somalia’s telcos pass deadline for securing licencesSomalia’s economic difficulties in recent years have made it difficult for telcos and the government to sustain investment in infrastructure. The government has also had to contend with militant groups which continue on occasion to force the closure of internet services in many areas of the country.

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In recent years, though, the government has addressed the lack of guidance which had prevailed since 1991, when a dictatorial regime was overthrown. The National Communications Law was passed in October 2017, aimed at setting a legal and regulatory framework for the telecoms sector, while provision was made in the following year to set up a regulatory authority to oversee the telecom sector. More recently, three types of licenses were mandated to provide clarity to operators, and to bring the market closer into line with international standards. All operators were given until August 2020 to secure one of the three licence types.

Despite the many inherent difficulties faced in the country, the telecom market has flourished. Tariffs are among the lowest in Africa, and new cable systems coming on stream in the next few years (providing additional connectivity to Asia and Europe) will lead to downward pressure on retail pricing.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure.

Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key wdevelopments:
* Somtel launches LTE-A services;
* DARE 1 cable serving East Africa comes into operation;
* Deadline for telcos to secure licenses to operate is passed;
* Government sets up an IXP in Mogadishu;
* Liquid Telecom builds the country's first fibre broadband link;
* SEACOM cable lands in Somalia;
* Three mobile operators agree to interconnect their networks;
* Report includes Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.




 





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