Big 3 Telcos in Somaliland agree on Fibre Optic deal

Somaliland’s Ministry of Communications and ICT has concluded an agreement between the 3 Big ICT Service providers in Somaliland namely, SomCable, Somtel and Telesom.

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About time. Shows the fruits of an opposition parliament that actually does its job and scrutinises and not just rubber stamping. They did the same with the insurance law in which the government tried to make only one “preferred” insurance company, it was rebuffed by parliament and now multiple companies are available.

These monopolies were/are chocking progress and am hopeful its the beginning of the end of them.

SomCable is entering the Mobile Networks too with their recent deal with the Satellite based American provider.

Healthy competition is good for everyone. That is where innovation and progress comes in.


Why haven’t they interconnected the telecom providers?

Will it ever happen?

According to the 5 year plan implementation would begin this year and be done by next year.
Do you guys think it’s realistic?


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Very good question. This should be on the menu next, it inconveniences people tremendously.

If people demand for it, which I don’t think they are. The Big Telcos have silo’ed the people into their vertically aligned services.

Some more information:

The market for Fibre Optics is not open yet. From the look of it, it is just expanded monopoly of the 3 Big Telcos.

They created a company for providing Fibre Optics cables which the 3 Telcos are equal share holders and the Gov’t has 5% stake.

Better than before but not that much. I know Fibre Optics is high in initial Cap Expenditure.

Saamiga loo kala helay Fiber Optica Somaliland:

Somcable 31.67%

Telesom 31.67%

Somtel. 31.67%

Dawladda. 5.%

In hindsight, if this new company works well, it my usher similar projects going forward i.e. Cement Factory and other big ticket investments.


Looks like telecom network interoperability is next on the menu!

Thank you GOD, I hope they get it done by 2023 as planed…

Do anyone know how many telecoms that operate in Somaliland?

In all fairness these are the only 3 that matter.

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Somcable will bring a fibreoptic cable to Berbera making it an international submarine cable hub.

Is Somcable not part of the deal? Are they bringing their own cable?

One single cable is not enough. We need multiple cables as these submarine cable have tendency to get cut or damaged for whatever reasons.

I remember Telesom already had a cable right up to the shoreline of Berbera. The Gov’t refused to have the cable land on Berbera due to the monopoly agreement with Somcable.

Website on Sumarine Cables

It was the Djibouti line called DARE 1 that the government turned down, which now goes to Bosaso, Mogadishu and Mombasa.

Currently we rely solely on the GULF2Africa line which comes from Oman (Telesom).

There is another line called Africa 1 due to be commissioned 2023.

As for Somcable I saw this in an article last year.

Berbera was chosen as a strategic location that Somcable would be using to land its international submarine cable and host a carrier-neutral data centre.

The arrival of the first submarine cable to Berbera is expected to be in March 2022 and additional cables are planned to follow thereafter.

So all of these cables do they all belong to the new company or is it also cables from other companies taking it to in inland Africa?

There is more information about this Public Private Partnership.

  1. The 3 Telcos and Gov’t share only the backbone network (City to City Cables/Region to Region)
  2. Each Telco is able to bring their own Fibre Optic Cable upto Berbera Termination Point and will own 100%
  3. Each Telco will own 100% the distribution of the Fibre Optic Cable to the End Users.

This actually makes a lot of sense to me. Here in Australia we have similar setup for Electricity Generation. The Electric Poles and Electric Cable Network is owned by a Holding Company that belongs to the Big electricity retailers. Each retailer has their own Generators either from renewables or Coal etc.

This guy also clarifies a bit more about what is involved. No idea why he is elusive about committing to answering the question about the prices to the end user coming down.

The next step should be the acquirement of a country code, 292 is unassigned, and a top level domain - maybe if a more workable leader comes to power in Xamar we can make a Kosovo/Serbia-like deal…