SADC aiming to harmonise ICT sector ...wants to regulate regional mobile roaming service

news-image

By Timo Shihepo

Windhoek - The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) is still trying to harmonise the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) through the roaming project, and the Postal Services.

According to the International Telecommunication Unit (ITU), the SADC region had about 230.7 million mobile subscribers last year but despite this incredible number, the region is yet to successfully achieve its roaming project.

The main objective of the SADC Roaming Project is to bring about affordable mobile roaming services through policy and regulatory framework interventions. This is also an attempt to make SADC more competitive for business.

The project was started way back during the SADC meeting of ICT Ministers held in June 2007 in Maputo, Mozambique. At the SADC ICT Ministers’ meeting in June 2015 in Walvis Bay, Namibia, they approved the SADC model roaming regulations and SADC roaming policy guidelines to assist member states in implementing the SADC roaming project.

Eleven years have passed by and only 10 member states are implementing the SADC Roaming Project.

Unlike in SADC, the Economic Community of West African States, European Union, and the East African Community have already addressed the roaming problem.

“The SADC roaming project is a project for the benefit of our region and citizens. No one is going to implement it other than ourselves. 

We shall receive feedback today (September 26) from the non-participating member states that have been requested by the SADC Secretariat to join the SADC Roaming Project,” said SADC deputy executive secretary for regional integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo.

Mhlongo was speaking at the SADC Committee of Ministers responsible for ICT, information, meteorology and transport in Windhoek, yesterday.

He said SADC mobile operators should make an effort to move towards a regional flat rate for mobile termination rates, only then would roaming costs be more or else uniform within the SADC region.

He added that they have a consultant working with Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa on the SADC roaming cost model and that he is hoping to receive the computed tariff ceiling we are to regulate the mobile roaming service, once for all.

On postal services, Dr Mhlongo said they are aware that the Postal Service is at a crossroad as it is restructuring and evolving itself to counter the dynamics of the sector.

The SADC Postal Strategy is the region’s strategic reference document for the development of its postal sector and it aligns perfectly the infrastructure components of SADC postal strategy to the Digital SADC 2027 and incorporates the three goals of the Universal Postal Union Istanbul world postal strategy.

The three goals are; improving interoperability of network infrastructure; ensuring sustainable and modern products; and fostering market and sector functioning.

With regard to leadership positions, the SADC ICT sector is the leading sector in Africa. Six SADC member states have reached over 100% mobile penetration. These are Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles and South Africa.

“Now that we are quite developed, we should also be challenging for more leadership positions at ATU and ITU. We should also do the same for PAPU (Pan African Postal Union) and UPU (Universal Postal Union),” said Dr Mhlongo.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Comments

image

Poachers have broken into Botswana’s p Read more...

10 Aug, 2018 at 01:58 PM

image

In a sign that Botswana is likely to cli Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 09:26 AM

image

Gaborone - Poachers have broken into Bot Read more...

04 Feb, 2019 at 07:35 AM

image

DAR ES SALAAM - DIRECTIVES on online for Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 01:24 PM

image

SADC leaders meeting in Tanzania this we Read more...

19 Aug, 2019 at 01:51 PM

image

Windhoek - Namibia’s fight against HIV Read more...

30 Sep, 2020 at 04:53 PM

image

Windhoek – South Africa’s 2020-21 DS Read more...

30 Sep, 2020 at 04:51 PM

image

Johannesburg - South Africa's Devon Pete Read more...

30 Sep, 2020 at 04:50 PM

image

Windhoek – Namibia’s Ministry of Agr Read more...

29 Sep, 2020 at 09:50 AM

image

Harare – About a fortnight ago, FIFA Read more...

28 Sep, 2020 at 04:05 PM

image

Lusaka - Amid myriad criticisms from soc Read more...

14 Dec, 2018 at 06:28 AM

image

Harare -The South African Premier Soccer Read more...

04 Sep, 2020 at 12:47 PM

image

FORMER Liberation Movements (FLMs) in So Read more...

16 Sep, 2019 at 12:36 PM

image

Heads of state and ministers who travell Read more...

30 Jul, 2018 at 02:01 PM

image

Windhoek - The SADC Secretariat - in col Read more...

04 Sep, 2020 at 01:29 PM