Somalia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics
Somtel and Glocall Telecoms fast track LTE initiatives
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Somalia's telecommunications market.
Subjects covered include:
Key statistics; Market and industry overviews; Market liberalisation and regulatory issues; Telecoms operators; Infrastructure development; Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband); Internet and broadband development and growth; Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile); Mobile voice and data markets.
Somalia's telecom market is unique, having managed to thrive despite there having been no central government since 1991 when a dictatorial regime was overthrown. Through the anarchy which has followed, and which continues in many areas, the telecoms sector has flourished. It is highly competitive, particularly in the mobile market where seven networks compete for customers. Some of these operators also offer fixed-line and internet services. There are no regulations or taxes, and no service obligations. Tariffs are among the lowest in Africa. However, the absence of regulation has also led to problems with frequency spectrum coordination and interconnection between networks. 0In addition, the threat of piracy in Somalia's territorial waters, and beyond, has so far prevented the country from gaining access to international submarine fibre optic cables. This meant that the country for long relied on satellites for international connections, and consequently the broadband capabilities of Somalia's Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were limited. However, in late 2013 Liquid Telecom built the country's first fibre-optic broadband link, connecting across the Kenya border and linking to directly into Hormuud Telecom's network.
Recent progress in the fight against Islamist militias and the formation of a new government are giving rise to hopes that the country may finally stabilise and become more attractive to foreign investment, which is needed to take the telecoms and broadband sector to the next level. The new government is beginning to regulate the sector and is planning to issue new spectrum licences that will allow the operation of high-speed mobile broadband technologies.
A completely unregulated market; New telecom licences to be issued; An underdeveloped broadband market; New government may bring more stability for foreign investment; Liquid Telecom is building the country's first fibre-optic broadband link; Dalkom plans to provide connectivity via the EASSy cable from the first quarter of 2014; Militants force telcos to cut internet links; Telesom expands mobile wallet service, enables remittances from abroad; SEACOM cable lands in Mogadishu; Somtel contracts Alcatel-Lucent to develop LTE infrastructure; Glocall Telecoms planning LTE-as-a-service' launch by end-2014; Three mobile operators agree to interconnect their networks.
Estimated market penetration rates in Somalia's telecoms sector end 2013 Market | Penetration rate Mobile | 52% Fixed | 1% Internet | 1.4% (Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)