Somalia: Cell mobile Networks interfering with IGAD networks

Nairobi (HAN) July 18, 2015 – Financial Investment and Real-time regional security updates. BY GEORGE MURAGE. Kenya is concerned with mobile operators in Somalia over network interference in border towns along the Kenya’s border with Somalia

Somalia mobile operators have been accused of interfering with Kenya’s mobile network thereby posing security threats, especially in border towns.

Information CS Fred Matiang’i said the issue was raised by the Kenya Defense Forces and intelligence agencies, with calls for urgent action.

He said he discussed the matter with his counterpart in Somalia two months ago, but action was limited as the operators are unlicensed and uncontrolled.

“We are concerned with the mobile network interference, mainly on the eastern border, by mobile operators in Somalia and we shall definitely take action,” he said.

Mandera county is the most affected, Matiang’i said, adding that the interference has also been experienced in Taita Taveta
county, which borders Tanzania, but is being addressed.

“We are working on the same platform with Uganda and Rwanda in network connectivity. This has increased mobile data, and reduced the cost of making calls by over 60 per cent,” he noted.

He spoke on the sidelines of the ongoing county revenue automation conference at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha.

Matiang’i expressed the ministry’s concern over damaged roads, railway lines, telephone lines and fiber optic cables during infrastructure construction.

He identified the standard gauge railway project as one that has suffered many challenges and losses.

To this end, the CS said that the cabinet has approved the critical infrastructure protection bill that seeks to protect
vital communications.

“The bill is meant to protect such infrastructures and it has very stiff penalties on anyone found damaging any key
communication tools,” he said.

“Plans are underway to engage companies like Kenya Power to use their masts in spreading the fiber optic cables across the country.”

Matiang’i challenged counties to work with the national government in opening Huduma centres as part of bringing services closer to the mwananchi.

“The ministry will continue to assist county governments in capacity building so as to put in place electronic service
delivery tools for the benefit of all Kenyans,” he said.

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