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Somalia Telecommunications 

Somalia Communications which includes Telecommunications, internet, radio, print, television and postal services are mostly run by private local Somali entrepreneurs (The Government operates one radio and one TV station with the help of foreign expertise i.e. Chinese, Korean, European and Latin American telecommunication Engineers. The telecommunications firms offer Somalis affordable mobile phones and internet services that may not be available in some parts of the African continent.
There is no restriction in applying for a SIM card from any one of the mobile providers in Somalia. However limitations come with the selection of the type of the services the client prescribes. There are post-paid and pre-paid services. A pre-paid application is not difficult to obtain unlike post-paid.
After President Said Barre’s Government was ousted from power in 1990 many new telecommunication firms began to arrive. They began to grab the opportunity of the missing infrastructure by providing the much needed services. The country now offers technologically advanced telecommunications services at competitive prices. The above telecommunication companies also provide services to every city, town and hamlet in Somalia. There are presently around 30 mainlines per 1,000 persons, and the local availability of telephone lines (Tele-density) is higher than in neighboring countries.

A French company called Dalcom is currently engaged in providing connectivity through the fiber-optic cables, which has now reached Mogadishu. The company has now registered around 15 clients and will very soon start providing internet connectivity to the southern parts of the country.

Mail Services

The postal service of Somalia has been un-functional for a long time now. Somalia National Posts are under the Ministry of Information, Post and Telecommunication of the Federal Government of Somalia. Recently the Somali Federal Government announced its intention to revive the Somali Postal Service. In mid-2013 the minister of information posts and Telecommunication signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates Posts to process mail to and from Somalia. Emirates Post's mail transit hub at Dubai International Airport was then used to forward mail from Somalia to various destinations.
Additionally, DHL and Australian Post are private companies that operate in Mogadishu. DHL provides postal services; Australian Post mostly provides sea mail parcel delivery services to Somalia destinations.

Company name

Telephone

Internet provider

Hormuud

Yes

Yes (3G)

Telesom

Yes

Yes

Nationalink

Yes

Yes (GPR)

Global

No

Yes

Somaliwireless

No

Yes (Wi-Fi)

Somaphone

Yes

Yes

Telephone Services

Is there an existing landline telephone network?

(Yes / No)

Yes

Does it allow international calls?

(Yes / No)

Yes

On average, number and length of downtime periods

n/a

Mobile phone providers (List)

Hormud,, Telesom, Nationlink, Samfone,

Estimated availability and coverage

(Approximate percentage of national coverage)

80%

Telecommunication Regulation

On March 22, 2012, the Somali Cabinet unanimously approved the National Communications Act, which paves the way for the establishment of a National Communications regulator in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. The bill was passed following consultations between government representatives and communications, academic and civil society stakeholders. According to the Ministry of Information, Post and Telecommunications, the Act is expected to offer a favorable environment for much needed foreign investment that will also support infrastructure development.

Regulations

Regulations on usage or import of:

Yes / No

Regulating Authority

Satellite

Yes

n/a

HF Radio

Yes

n/a

UHF/VHF/HF radio: handheld, base and mobile

Yes

n/a

UHF/VHF repeaters

Yes

n/a

GPS

Yes

n/a

VSAT

Yes

n/a

Individual Network Operator Licenses Required
n/a
Frequency Licenses Required
License is  obtained from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication

Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems

The Humanitarian community mostly depends on the existing private companies for mobile telephones while at the same time augmenting with their official communications systems particularly VHF, HF radios and V-Sats in order to have a high speed self-sufficient connectivity including internet.
The main humanitarian organizations that have these types of telecommunications are, UNDP, WFP, UNICEF, WHO, UNISCO, FAO and UNSOA.

For information on Somalia Radio networks, please see the following document:

Somalia Radio Information

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