HARGEISA, (Somalilandpress) — Telesom, one of the major telecommication carriers in Somaliland announced on Thursday the launch of the first environment-friendly and cost-effective solar-powered mobile system in the country.
Mohamed Isaaq, Marketing Director, Telesom Consumer said, Telesom was translating consumer demands based on the fact that 80% of the people in Somaliland are pastoral communities who live without electricity or live in areas with unreliable access to power.
He added that Telesom wanted all people to stay connected in all areas of life and that nomadic groups were aware of the ticking time-bomb that comes with their lifestyle. Mr Mohamed cited, many nomads were already using their services but discovered some flaws in the system such as unable to recharge batteries.
Mr Mohamed said, they were the first company to unveil this services in the country and the system was custom made for them by an international firm.
Mohamed said that the mobile came at a fixed price of $30 US-dollars.
The company has already given out 25 mobile phones for trials and said so far it has been successful.
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Farah Sugal, Innovation Director (regional), said Telesom already had huge customers in the rural area but many were frustrated because they would often send their mobiles to big towns just to recharge. He said the process would often take days and some times weeks, and this was a huge problem to the network.
This is not the first time Telesom has unveiled new system to the country, in 2009, it launched the ‘ZAAD‘ services – mobile banking, making it the first African fully owned company to do so and the fifth in the world after Smart, MTN, Vodafone and Zain. ZAAD services also includes mobile remittance – an important lifeline for millions of Somalis in East Africa.
Telesom was recently invited to the Summit of the African Union (AU) on the theme; ‘Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Prospects and Challenges for Development’ in the Ethiopian capital. Telesom show cased their services and products such as SMS, mobile banking and others that they have deployed in this unrecognized Somaliland.
Telesom is one of the leading and most respected names in Somaliland which not only continues to bring innovation and connect this unrecognized republic but also contribute to the development of the community.
Telesom funds many of the leading high learning institutions in the country as well as underprivilege students, funds and sponsors social events and brings awareness. They also contribute to the rehabilitation of roads and are currently the main investor of Borama-Dilla highway.
There is no official telecommunication regulatory body in Somaliland but all operators cooperate with Somaliland Telecom Operators Association where they agree on fixed prices and provide the information to the Ministry of Information.
The main telecommunication competitors in the country are Telcom, Telesom, Somtel, Africa Online (internet), Soltelc and NationLink. Fierce competition among the operators has driven consumer costs down for instance an international mobile call is as low as $0.30 per minute or less, six times lower than most African states.
Video: Keyse Business Centre (Hargeisa)
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Source: Somalilandpress, 21 February 2010