Sierratel to launch fixed-wireless network; minister calls for lower tariffs

9 May 2008

State-owned Sierra Leone Telecommunications (Sierratel) will launch a CDMA fixed-wireless network by September 2008, according to the country’s deputy minister for information and communication, Mohamed Koroma. The minister also responded to critics who say that mobile phone companies are exploiting Sierra Leoneans: ‘I don’t see it as exploitation but something that has to do with high tariffs. We are negotiating with mobile company operators to reduce their tariffs,’ he said. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of 2007 the country was home to four wireless operators serving fewer than a million subscribers in total. Koroma acknowledged that rates are high compared to other countries in the region: ‘I see no reason why we should not break the ice and be in line with other communication systems in the sub-region,’ he stated.