Mobile coverage

While there is a good network coverage in Somalia, there are locations that may be left out or have an erratic coverage, especially in remote locations. During military operations, not only the Internet but the whole network might be shut down in some cases, thus affecting all types of phone communication. The differences in access are significant with regions under government control (whether the self-declared but unrecognized government of Somaliland, the Government of Puntland, or the Federal Government in Mogadishu) and the significant territories that are controlled by the extremist group Al Shabaab.

While private companies have often found a way to work with local authorities in Al Shabaab-controlled territories, the group has, at times, enacted severe restrictions on communications. In south central Somalia, Al Shabaab has, for example, forced major telecoms providers such as Hormuud to close off access at times, arguing that international governments are tapping Internet and phone systems which has been putting their group at risk of attack. While periodic Internet shutdowns are part of the conflict (eg the African Union or Government of Somalia will order a local Internet shutdown when engaged in military operations), some regions (particularly the south), have experienced prolonged and widespread Internet shutdowns due to technical difficulties including a ship that cut the East African Submarine System (EASSy) undersea cable off the cost of Mogadishu. The economic costs to the local economy of this shutdown were estimated at 10 million USD per day (Reuters 2017).