The government of Somalia has partnered with various stakeholders, including telecoms operators and the World Bank, to roll out a phased project towards establishing the country’s first telecoms sector regulator.
ITWeb Africa recently reported that Abdi Sheik Ahmed has been appointed to head the regulator.
The country’s telecoms sector comprises several players including Dalkom, Golis Telecom, Hormuud Telecom, Nationlink, Somafone, Somtel, Telcom Somalia and Telesom.
According to the World Bank, once in full operation, the Somali National Communications Authority will boost market development and increase the contribution of the telecoms sector to 11% of the country’s national GDP.
The regulator is expected to stabilise and develop the sector, help attract foreign investment, effectively manage spectrum license allocation and interconnection between networks to secure the benefit of high-speed mobile broadband technologies.
In October 2017 the government signed into law the National Communications Act, providing the legal framework for the emergence of the regulator.
The Act covers the development of telecommunications technology, protection of corporate and consumer rights and more private sector participation.
An independent task force has been tasked to oversee the process of establishing the regulator.
Somalians could not access international submarine fibre optic cables until 2014, and the landing of the first cable signaled an end to the country’s dependence on satellite connectivity for internet access.
Connectivity services are expected to improve later this year when the country gains access to two key submarine cables: the 1,500km G2A cable and the 5,500km DARE cable.