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SIERRA LEONE

  • "Licensing is the responsibility of the independent telecom regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), according to the Telecommunications Act of 2006..."---"Mobile license fees questioned," Concord Times, 10 November 2006.
  • But according to the Country Profile prepared for the European Commission's NovaTech-ProInvest Conference in Mali (November 2006, "A new telecommunications law is currently being approved by Parliament. Independent regulatory authority currently being created, but operating licences and frequency spectra are still awarded by the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MOT&C)..."
  • "Sierra Leone: Natcom offers wireless Internet facility at airport," by Ibrahim Tarawallie, Concord Times (Freetown), 9 May 2011: "The National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) has offered wireless internet facility at the Lungi International Airport to enable passengers traveling in and out of the country check their email, surf the net or access their corporate network. Passengers and workers at the airport were in joyous mood Friday as the minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, launched the WIFI service... [NATCOM chairman, Siray Timbo] maintained that the service would be available free of charge for a three-month period, noting that after which the management would put in place mechanisms to guarantee the provision of affordable services..."
  • "Sierra Leone to Get Fastest Internet Service," by Ibrahim Seibure, The Concord Times (Freetown), 7 November 2005, via AllAfrica.com: "...'Cyber Reach' is a new Internet Service Provider (ISP) that is expected to commence operations at the end of November with a nationwide coverage in six months... Sati Choithram, Cyber Reach's proprietress said, 'the service would be the cheapest and first of its kind to be offered in the country,' and continued, 'it is a very simple technology wherein there is a modem of 4 inches long and 2 inches wide that you can carry anywhere you wish.' She explained that one only needs to plug the modem into a computer and then one is on the net.... 'With the Ripwave modem, there is no need to send technicians to climb the roof, no computers to be opened up and no installation required... This service shall initially be within greater Freetown and will be available to the provinces within three to six months,' she states and adds that the modem will cost US$350 and a monthly subscription of US$120..." (The article doesn't say this, but the Ripwave radio modem, made by Navini Networks, operates in the 2.3 - 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands.
  • "Reconnecting Sierra Leone," by Hal Bosher, ForeignDirectInvestment Magazine, 5 June 2006: "Sierra-Com invested $3m in local subsidiary PCS Holdings Sierra Leone Ltd (IPTEL), in partnership with Sierra Leone-based Firstcom, to establish a world-class network with technologically advanced telecoms equipment imported from Israel. High-speed broadband wireless internet and voice over internet protocol (IP) communications finally arrived in Sierra Leone... changing the face of Sierra Leone's ICT infrastructure. Previously, the only internet access was either via a slow dial-up or a narrowband service that was prone to stoppages due to electricity shortages... Sierra-Com's decision to go into one of the most challenging places in the world to do business was not an easy one. Concerns about the country's unregulated environment and the lack of a clear regulatory structure led Sierra-Com to consider political risk insurance. Luckily, the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has a special interest in post-conflict countries such as Sierra Leone..."
  • "Spectrum fee reduced for Community Radio stations," Sierra Express Media, 9 June 2010: "Following a series of meetings between the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and the Chairman, Board and other Commissioners and members of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), the annual Spectrum Fee for radio stations has been halved for community radios throughout the country. In a reply to a letter written to him by SLAJ, the Chairman of NATCOM Mr Siray Timbo said his Board had agreed that instead of the existing US$500, community radio stations would now pay US$250 at the official exchange rate in Leones. 'The role community radio stations play in the country and the low income they generate make it unfair to be charged the same amount as commercial and other radio stations,' SLAJ President Umaru Fofana said. He lauded NATCOM for their understanding in reducing the amount for these stations most of which can barely afford to remain on air for six hours a day..."
  • According to the CIA World Factbook (2005), "The 1991 to 2002 civil war... resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population), many of whom are now refugees in neighboring countries.... National elections were held in May 2002 and the government continues to slowly reestablish its authority. However, the gradual withdrawal of most UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) peacekeepers in 2004 and early 2005, deteriorating political and economic conditions in Guinea, and the tenuous security situation in neighboring Liberia may present challenges to the continuation of Sierra Leone's stability..."
  • "Telecom Sector Reform in Sierra Leone" by Maxwell Massaquoi, Concord Times (Freetown), 24 June 2005:
    "...The current SLPP administration had actually embarked on its liberalization agenda in the late 1990s but its plans were interrupted by the civil war that raged for almost 11 years... The Draft Telecom Bill currently tabled for parliamentary approval addresses some of these issues. But the approval process has been rather slow... The liberalization effort in this country continues without a solid regulatory framework and in the absence of a well-defined National Telecommunications Policy (NTP)..."
  • "Freetown: Panos Seminar on Radio Policy" 21 May 2003: "...The Panos Institute West Africa and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists organised a two-day seminar in Freetown (14th and 15th May 2003) for the development of a comprehensive radio policy framework in Sierra Leone..."
  • WikiTravel says that some of the major hotels in Freetown have wireless Internet access.

Africa - Regional Overview