Issuance of licenses takes the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to 18. The ESCCOM says the growing demand for internet services in the country is the key reason behind the expansion of the sector.

By Avite Mbabazi

“We urge licensees to provide the best connection and strive to reach the minimum broadband speed of 5mbs. Internet services need to be available, efficient, reliable, and most affordable” remarked the Chief Executive of the Eswatini Communication Commission (ESCCOM), Mvilawemphi Dlamini during the handover of 3 electronic communications general licenses.

Rodge and Ziks Investments, Worldwide Communications Corporation, and Glimmertech Investments have been issued with electronic communications services general licenses by the Eswatini Communication Commission, taking the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to 18.

The handover was done by the Commission’s CE, Mvilawemphi Dlamini on Thursday 13 October 2022 at their boardroom in Mbabane. The issuance of the licenses comes after the commission reportedly received no objections from its public consultation exercise calling for written comments from interested stakeholders and the general public on its intention to grant the said licenses.

During the handover, Dlamini alluded to the growing demand for internet services in the country as the key reason to expand the sector. “Most people were working from home (During Covid-19), learning is conducted online, meetings are held online, and our everyday life has suddenly become dependent on the availability of internet services” he noted.

Additionally, the ESCCOM CE urged the new licensees to take their services to rural areas of the country which are traditionally underserved by ISPs. Moreover, he encouraged the 3 licensees to innovate and create services that cater to women, children, and people living with a disability.

Siphiwo Dlamini from Worldwide Communications spoke on behalf of the companies during the event and thanked ESCCOM for granting them the opportunity to contribute positively to Eswatini’s economy. He expressed their commitment to creating jobs and ensuring that services are of high quality and at affordable prices as most activities are now being driven by the Internet.

The scope of the licenses issued will include the provision of internet services, value-added services, and other services which the ESCCOM may authorize in the future. The licenses will come with obligations including skills development for Emaswati, payment of license fees, infrastructure sharing, and compliance with the Electronic Communications Quality of Service Regulations.

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