Swaziland to liberalise the mobile market in 2016

16 Dec 2015

Swaziland’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology Dumisani Ndlangamandla has presented 13 draft telecommunication legislations to the Council of Ministers, which will be discussed in parliament in February 2016 before being enacted into laws, Agence Ecofin reports. The updated telecoms regulations will reportedly provide for the opening of the mobile sector to competition and ending MTN Swaziland’s monopoly in the market. Under the new regulations, the government is planning to grant a 10-year non-exclusive concession to any telecoms operator who wants to offer mobile services in Swaziland. Selected companies will also pay the government 5% of their net operating profit as royalties.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in November 2014 it emerged that work on developing the regulatory framework for a new mobile licence in Swaziland was underway, with Viettel-backed start-up Swavitel said to have submitted an application for the concession. Stan Motsa, acting chief executive officer of the Swaziland Communications Commission (SCC), said at the time: ‘We are drafting the legislation with help from experts provided by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as well as local stakeholders within the country’s communications sector.’ Further, Motsa added that, if granted permission, Swavitel would utilise the Swaziland Post and Telecommunication Corporations’ (SPTC’s) backbone infrastructure.