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Monday, July 23, 2007

Somalia Telecoms

In Somalia, telecommunications are quite sophistsicated and effective, and among the cheapest in Africa, even during their civil war.

Note this article published April 23rd, 2007 by Afrol.


Somalia is a country in ruins. With 70 percent of the population living below the poverty line and international relief largely cut-off by civil war, it's a place where survival is a full-time occupation.

Yet, in an anarchic country divided into vague fiefdoms subject to the whims of roaming warlords and freelance militias, one thing is strangely in order: telephone services.

Under the shadow of ruined buildings and in the middle of dusty streets, large numbers of Somalis walk about with a mobile phone in their hand.

For a country that does not even have its own government, Somalia has an amazingly developed telecoms industry.

It's one of the few industries that have managed to grow since the socialist government of Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.

Telecommunication now reaches all 83 main districts as well as 18 regional capitals in a place the UN describes as a 'failed state'. And the system is more advanced than in most African countries.

Now, telephone calls from Somalia to anywhere in the world cost no more than US$ 0.5 a minute

The number of telephone lines operating in the country is estimated to be 100,000 (pop. about nine million), according to Diini.

Although most of them are in the capital Mogadishu, they are still more than 10 times the number in 1991.

By comparison Ethiopia had 263,000 lines for 66 million people and Kenya 307,000 lines for a population of nearly 31 million in 2000 (the latest year for which figures are available).

The Rest @ Afrol

Here is an incomplete list of Telecoms and their current situation as far as I can discover.



  • Al-Barakaat, partner with American AT&T
  • Following the September 11 attacks, the US government closed down the bank accounts of the biggest foreign exchange remittance company, Al-Barakaat, as well as its international telecommunications network, suspecting that they may have links with the al-Qaeda terror network.

Golis Telecommunications Company Ltd


  • Hormuud Telecom Inc.[HorTel] claimed to bethe leading telecommunication services provider in the southern Somalia.
  • Hormuud Telecom Inc. owns and operates a telecommunication network covering the entire territories of the southern Somalia; it provides national and international telephone services.
  • HorTel is a privately owned company that was established in April 2002, in Somali capital, Mogadishu.
  • HormTel has its headquarters in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia,
    Provides fixed and mobile solutions to its customers.
  • Network Information Roaming Partners Services

Somali Internet Company

  • Barakat, Astel Nationlink -- joined forces to form an ISP called the Somali Internet Company.
  • The service links to the Internet at 128 kilobits per second via a satellite link from ArabSat.


  • Owned by Thuraya , the largest seller of Satellite Phones in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Network Information Roaming Partners Services
  • Abdulkadir Diini, head of technical development for Nationlink (read here, here, and here
  • Somafone FZ LLC

Network Information Roaming Partners Services

Somali Telecom Group (STG) Recently the Somali Telecom Group (STG) was formed.

  • STG was recently able to negotiate direct access with Intelsat.
  • STG has a presence in all sectors of the telecom industry - ISP, GSM and fixed lines.
  • Cities served: Ba'adweyn, Berbera, Bosaso, Burao, Burtinle, Erigabo, Galkiao, Garowe, Goldogob, Hargeisa
    Suite B-803, Baniyas Complex
    Al Nasir Square,
    Deira, Dubai
    P.O. Box 39130
    Tel: (+9714) 229 - 2117/8
    Fax (+9714) 229 - 2119
    Web Site:


Telsom Mobile Somalia

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