Current Emergencies

Inactive
ETC Activities: 

While the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) is not currently activated in Somalia, there is ongoing coordination through the local ICT Working Group. Meetings are held with ICT focal points inside Somalia and those based in Nairobi. The ICT Working Group is open to organisations involved in humanitarian and development work in Somalia.

If you are working on any of the following areas, you are welcome to participate in coordination meetings:

  • Emergency telecommunications
  • Services for communities (technical/digital solutions in support of CwC work)
  • Digital payments
  • Digital development
  • Other areas concerned with ICT.

The ICT Working Group is open to all NGOs, UN agencies, government, media development organisations, academia, and other interested actors.

If you would like to be involved in the ICT Working Group, contact: Bishar Duble or fill out this form: join mailing list.

Country Profile: 
Regulations

The Somalia Ministry of Posts and Communications & Ministry of Information are the parent ministries with oversight for the ICT and media sectors.

The Somalia telecommunications sector flourished in a completely deregulated environment since the collapse of central government in 1991. Nevertheless, the World Bank provided ICT legal and regulatory support, including passage of Communications Act and establishing ICT regulatory agency. This culminated in the National Communications Act of 2015 (background to draft available here), which was passed by parliament in 2017. The Act established the National Communications Authority (NCA), as an independent telecommunications regulator in the country.

There are no restrictions currently on import of technical equipment, though this varies from area to area. In Mogadishu there is a handling and clearing fee payable. In Somaliland and Puntland there is a process through which the UN applies for import tax exemptions, which might not be applicable to NGOs.

Currently there is no licensing process in place.

Regulatory frameworks are under development.

Sources: World Bank, WFP ICT Country Capacity Assessment (2015)

Broadcast Radio

Radio is the single most important channel of communication in Somalia. Somalis listen avidly to local radio stations and international broadcasters for news about their own country and the wider world. Television – especially satellite television - is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas. There are dozens of FM radio stations in Somalia, and a growing number of terrestrial, online and satellite television stations. However, no single Somalia-based radio station can claim broad national coverage. Many local radio and TV stations within Somalia have well-established relationships with international and aid organisations and local NGOs. They derive an important income from broadcasting public service announcements and sponsored humanitarian programmes.Radio is a particularly effective way for humanitarian agencies to reach displaced people. 

In Somaliland, the government does not allow private radio stations to operate, although it does permit the BBC and VOA to run FM relays.
There is only one government-run radio station in Somaliland, but this cannot be heard outside the capital Hargeisa, so most people in this territory tune in to foreign broadcasters. However, the Somaliland government has a more liberal attitude towards private television. Hargeisa is home to three private TV stations; Horn Cable TV, one of the most popular satellite TV channels in Somalia, and two terrestrial broadcasters; Space Channel and Bulsho TV.

Some of the key radios stations that work with humanitarian actors include:

NameCoverageDetailed Information
Radio Ergo Long experience and deep local understanding of the issues since 2011. Also has the Freedom Fone – a tool used to receive feedback from communities. Contacts: info@radioergo.org
   

Sources: Infoasaid Somalia Media and Telecoms Landscape Guide (2012), www.radioergo.org

Internet

International links: All internet service providers (ISP) and mobile operators are connected via satellite. Somcable is connected thru fiber via Djibouti. In 2014, fiber connectivity landed in Mogadishu, thanks to the West Indian Ocean Cable Consortium (WIOCC) undersea fiber-optic EASSy cable.

Broadband: The following companies provide internet services as follows:

ISPCoverageAverage Speeds (kb/sec)
SomtelAll Somalia64 – 4,000 (Shared)
TelesomSomaliland, partnering with Golis & Hormuud256 – 4,000 (Shared or Dedicated)
GolisPuntland, partnering with Telesom & Hormuud256 – 2,000
HormuudSouth-Central, partnering with Golis & Telesom256 – 2,000 (Shared or Dedicated)
NationlinkNot disclosedNot disclosed
SomcableHargeisa4,000 – 100,000

Source: WFP ICT Country Capacity Assessment (2015)

Phone/Mobile

Fixed line communication: The following providers offer landline services within their regions of operation: Somtel, Telesom, Golis, Hormuud, Nationlink. Telesom offers a free landline with every ADSL connection.

Mobile communication: Several privately owned mobile telephone networks have developed. They provide extensive mobile coverage throughout the country – and beyond.

Mobile Network ProviderCoverageMarket ShareServices (list not exhaustive)
SomtelAll Somalia3 million subscribersGSM, GPRS, 2G, 3G, 4G, Mobile money service, Toll-free number
TelesomSomaliland, partnering with Golis & HormuudNot disclosedGSM, GPRS, 3G, Mobile money service, Toll-free number, Bulk SMS
GolisPuntland, partnering with Telesom & HormuudNot disclosedGSM, Mobile money service, Toll-free number
HormuudSouth-Central, partnering with Golis & TelesomNot disclosedGSM, Mobile money service, Toll-free number
NationlinkNot disclosedNot disclosedGSM, Mobile money service, Toll-free number, Bulk SMS

Mobile money: The following mobile money services exist in the country:

Mobile Network ProviderMobile Money Service
SomtelE-Dahab
TelesomZaad
GolisSahal
HormuudEVC Plus
NationlinkEmaal

Source: WFP ICT Country Capacity Assessment (2015)

Power

The following electricity service providers exist in Somalia:

Electricity ProviderCoverageService Quality
National Electric Power Co-operation (NEPCO)GalkayoAcceptable, power cut at least once a day
Ente Nazionale Energia Elettrica (ENEE)BossasoPoor - though improving
Kaah Electric Power and Lighting Company (KEPLC)SomalilandAcceptable
Somali Energy Company (SECO)South/ CentralAcceptable

In locations not covered by grid electricity, petrol/diesel generators are widely used.

Source: WFP ICT Country Capacity Assessment (2015)

Events

Blue Jeans Web Conference
06 September 2017 - 4:00 pm GM to 6:30 pm GMT
WFP Somalia Office located on Gigiri Lane, off United Nations Crescent, Nairobi & also on Web Conference
02 August 2017 - 4:00 pm GM to 6:30 pm GMT
WFP Somalia Office located on Gigiri Lane, off United Nations Crescent, Nairobi & also on Web Conference
12 July 2017 - 4:00 pm GM to 5:30 pm GMT
WFP Somalia Office located on Gigiri Lane, off United Nations Crescent, Nairobi & also on Web Conference
21 June 2017 - 4:00 pm GM to 6:30 pm GMT
WFP Somalia Office located on Gigiri Lane, off United Nations Crescent, Nairobi & also on Web Conference
24 May 2017 - 4:00 pm GM to 5:30 pm GMT