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BENIN

  • "Benin: New Telecoms Regulator Suspended," Balancing Act Africa, Issue 304 (8 May 2006): "During an extraordinary Council of Ministers that took place on the 1st of May [2006] the new government of Benin headed by President Yayi Boni has suspended the new telecommunication authority. The telecommunications regulator was put in place in hastily by the outgoing government a couple of weeks prior to the presidential election... [The Council of Ministers] also agreed to cancel the regulation implementing the Ordonnances 2002-02 and 2002-03 dated 31/01/2002 regarding on one hand the fundamental principles of the telecommunications regime in the Republic of Benin and on the other hand the creation and functions of the Regulation Authority..."
  • "Spectrum is allocated by the Ministry (Ministère de la Communication et de la Promotion des Technologies Nouvelles), and day to day oversight is conducted by the newly established ARPT (l'autorité de régulation des postes et télécommunications). At present a frequency band distribution table database appears not to exist... Spectrum scarcity is not an issue in Benin. The key priority for the new regulator is to establish a database of spectrum usage..." --- from West African Common Market Project: Harmonization of Policies Governing the ICT Market [in] the UEMOA-ECOWAS Space - Radio Spectrum Management, by Michel Schaar and Dr. Chris Doyle, International Telecommunication Union/the European Union, September 2005, page 10.
  • Wifi use is licensed and limited to indoors only but licenses are issued automatically and enforcement is close to non-existent; decisions on public service offers are made by the regulator on a case by case basis, according to "Wireless Networks for the Developing World: The Regulation and Use of License-Exempt Radio Bands in Africa," by Maria Isabel A. S. Neto (MIT thesis, June 2004), page 174.
  • "Benin: DIY Wireless Enthusiasts Launch Wi-Fi Broadband, IP-to-IP Calling," by Isabelle Goss, Balancing Act, 24 April 2006: "Cotonou-Wireless is a community group which is run on a non-profit making basis, explains Mathias Houngbo. The association's aim is to provide wireless internet access to users throughout the capital city of Cotonou..."
  • L'Internet sans fil débarque au Bénin" (Wireless Internet comes to Benin) par David Cadasse, Afrik, 17 August 2004: an interview in French with Spero Ganse, the entrepeneur who plans to set up 30+ hotspots in Cotonou. A shorter article in English appeared in Balancing Act Africa #222: "Benin's Mantic Targets Corporate Market with Wireless Access Service" (September 2004).
  • BorgouNet - it began as an internal network for the Catholic Church's local archdiocese, but reorganised in 2003 as a nonprofit regional wireless network supporting the development of northern Benin. For background details, see "Quelles technologies, quelles actions et quels bénéficiaires pour mettre les NTIC au service du développement au Nord du Bénin?" by Thomas Baboni et Javier Simó, pages 90-95 in Low Cost Access and Connectivity: Local Solutions edited by Catherine J. Steel, UN ICT Task Force, 2003, pages 90-95 in French.
  • "Civil Society and National NICT Policy in Benin" by Ken Lohento, Association for Progressive Communications, Africa ICT Policy Monitor Project, April 2003: "There are already several urgent projects awaiting the regulatory organisation, including: Management of free frequencies (around 2,4 Gigahertz): this frequency band is currently used by some wireless operators, and there is often interference..."-

Africa - Regional Overview