Mobile network ecosystem
According to the Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications et de la poste (National Telecommunication Regulation Authority – ARTP which has been changed in 2018 into Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal services ARCEP), the telecommunications sector has entered an era of technical transformation and spectacular growth. The excellent growth has been favored by the full rise of technological change and the globalisation of the operation of networks and services. Telecommunications occupy a key place in this process of interaction and independence between the different sectors of the economy.
Since 2005, all telecommunications services and networks in Niger are open to competition. The liberalisation of the sector is governed by four specific regimes for each type of network and services: Licensing, Authorisation, Declaratory and Freedom.
With regard to Licensing, telecommunications networks and services open to the public are subject to obtaining a license, issued by the Minister in charge of the telecommunications sector, upon proposal and after instruction by the Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et de la poste (Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal services ARCEP).
The Declarative regime establishes that the commercial exploitation of value-added services such as voice mail services, a list of which is regulated, may be provided by any natural or legal person after filing a declaration of intent of opening the service with the ARCEP.
Under the Authorisation regime, mobile operators companies are subject to the granting of an authorisation issued by the ARCEP, for the establishment and exploitation of: independent networks in the public domain, including terrestrial networks; interconnection services of a network forming part of the Internet infrastructure; equipment enabling the public to access, for a fee, fixed-point and telex telephony services; and any service by which an operator establishes a telephone connection between the Republic of Niger and other countries by return of call by means of a telephone machine located outside the territory of the Republic of Niger.
The Freedom regime provides that any telecommunications network or service that does not fall under either the licensing regime or the licensing scheme may be established and/or operated freely. These include: internal networks, subject to the conformity of their equipment and independent networks, whose termination points are less than 300 meters away and whose links have a capacity of less than 2.1 megabits per second.