Eswatini Communications Commission reveals that MTN Eswatini 3G geographic coverage is at 94.7% and 4G coverage at 57.7% while Eswatini Mobile 3G and 4G network coverage is at 75% and MTN Eswatini has just recently launched its 5G trial.

By Ntokozo Nkambule

The Chief Executive Officer of the Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM), Mvilawemphi Dlamini says for the country to enjoy resilient and reliant internet it is imperative that the appropriate legal framework is put in place to protect emaSwati from unauthorized use of personal data, and from cyber criminals who use the internet for illicit activities.

The CEO was speaking during the Internet Governance Forum themed ‘Resilient Internet For A Shared, Sustainable, And Common Future. He disclosed that their mandate as a regulator is to “promote the development of innovative, secure, modern and competitive communications infrastructure and the delivery of related services. We are further assigned with the responsibility to ensure that all communications services are provided in a manner that will best promote economic and social development”

He noted that it has become evident that the internet has taken over the world and transformed how we work, live, and interact. Dlamini said the Internet has already shown how it can improve the economy, as businesses now thrive because of the Internet. He observed that regulators and policymakers ought to look at the ever-changing process of digitizing the economy more comprehensively, as by understanding the patterns of transformations, they can predict the changes resulting from gradual waves of digitization and technological progress, leading to a better assessment of the digital economy.

Additionally, the CEO observed that Parliament has recently passed into law two very important Acts that shall be administered by the Commission. These are; the Computer Crime and Cybercrime Act and the Data Protection Acts of 2022. The objectives of the Computer Crime and Cybercrime Act are to criminalize offences involving computers and network-related crimes. The Data Protection Act on the other hand provides for the collection, processing, disclosure, and protection of personal data; balancing competing values of personal information privacy and sector-specific laws and other related matters.

Furthermore, Dlamini said the network performance of service providers is crucial in ensuring consumers receive the best quality service. “We are proud to mention here today that MTN Eswatini 3G geographic coverage is at 94.7% and 4G coverage at 57.7%. Eswatini Mobile 3G and 4G network coverage is at 75%. MTN Eswatini has just recently launched its 5G trial. These are enablers for a more effective and resilient digital economy” he said.

The forum was hosted by ESCCOM in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Communication & Technology (ICT), the Internet Governance Forum Eswatini, the European Union (EU), the Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA), the African Union and the Coordinating Assembly for NGOs (CANGO).

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