In Somalia, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has issued the country’s first spectrum licence to Hormuud Telecom.
In a recent license announcement, the telecommunications provider won the rights to use frequency bands including 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.6 GHz, and 3.5 GHz.
Jama Hassan Khalif, Somalia’s Minister of Communications and Technology, said, “The Government of Somalia is committed to transforming the nation into one of the most digitally inclusive societies in the world. However, we require solid private-public partnerships and a robust regulatory environment to achieve our ambition.
“This marks a major milestone for the industry and our country at large. We are pleased to award Hormuud Telecom with the first spectrum license. We believe that with private organisations such as Hormuud, we can push our nation’s digitalisation agenda forward,” Khalif added.
Speaking on the issuance, Abdullahi Abdulaziz, Director of the NCA, said, “The NCA’s mission is to create a competitive environment where innovation and investment into the telecommunications sector can flourish through effective regulation. The issuance of the radio spectrum license is an essential step towards achieving this aim. The radio license gets us all one step closer to unlocking the potential that we know Somalia, and our people, have to offer.”
According to NCA stats, an estimated 90 per cent of Somalis have access to a mobile phone, while 70 per cent of Somalis have access to 4G coverage.
The regulator notes that Somalis conduct over 155 million transactions monthly worth US$2.7 billion, with only 6 per cent now using cash.
In February 2022, the NCA established the Unified Licensing Framework, urging ICT operators to submit applications for spectrum licenses.
Authorities said with various spectrum bands already in use across the country; licences will be issued upon application and not by auction.
Also commenting, Hormuud Telecom’s CEO Ahmed Mohamud Yuusuf said, “The formalisation of spectrum licences is another example of the great work underway to bring stability, structure, and growth to the Somali economy. As Somalia’s largest telecommunications provider, we’re crucially aware of the immense responsibility we play in the lives of many. We’re honoured to have been awarded this licence.”