Oduu Haaraya

Somalia: Telecom Growth Rate, in a Lawless Country, is Three Times Greater Than Ethiopia

The use of Skype and Google talk are limited and tightly monitored in Ethiopia.

Ethio Telecom, formerly the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) is the sole Government controlled telecom.

In contrast, Somalia offers some of the most technologically advanced and competitively priced telecommunications and internet services in the world.

Somalia telecoms offer many services that are not even available throughout the continent. Customers can conduct money transfers (such as through the popular Dahabshiil) and other banking activities via mobile phones, as well as easily gain wireless Internet access.There are over 20 telecom companies in Somalia and they offer the cheapest and clearest phone calls in Africa. There are presently around 25 mainlines per 1,000 persons, and the local availability of telephone lines (tele-density) is higher than in neighboring countries; three times greater than in adjacent Ethiopia.

As of 2012, Somalia has around 186 internet hosts. There were about 106,000 online users in the country in 2009.

Companies in Somalia in the telecom sector.

Dalkom Telecom
Gaani Wireless
Global Internet Company
Golis Telecom Somalia
Haatif Telecom Somalia
Xiriirka Fone
Hormuud Telecom
NationLink Telecom
SomCable (laying out fiber optic cables in Somalia and Djibouti).
Somali Telecom Group
SomTel (Dahabshiil)
Telcom Puntland
Telenet International

This is only some of the list not all the companies are listed. Hormuud, Telesom and Golis remain the three most prominent players while Dalkom and SomCable are leading wholesalers or infrastructure providers to these providers/operators. Hormuud Telecom alone averages a gross income of about $40 million a year.

When you land in Somalia, travellers receive a free Sim card at the airport with small calling credit but you will need to recharge it and you can recharge with small fee like $.50 up to $100. They will just take your name and tell their bosses they gave it away because in some cases some kids keep it for themselves and use the credit and throw it away. The reason they do give it for free is because they want you hooked on their network even before you greet the country.

I have personally travelled to remote regions of Somalia and Ethiopia and I was surprised remote Somali regions had working electricity and mobile phones but the Ethiopian side was very dark and cut from everything. People often cross the border to make a call.

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