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Mobile phone internet off in Somalia after Al Shabaab order

Hiiraan Online
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin
Saturday, February 08, 2014

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People in three regions in south western regions of Somalia have been experiencing difficulty in using internet service, including mobile phone service, since Thursday last week after Hormuud, the country’s largest network provider, was ordered by Al Shabaab militants to switch off its telecommunication systems.

Although the mobile phone internet service was cut, people in the three regions were still able to use limited internet service, but this was inadequate for people who frequently used internet on their mobile phones.

As a result of the disruption of service, the cost of use of internet service has increased in areas affected by the Al Shabaab ban, including Mogadishu due to the large numbers of people coming to the internet shops in a city of nearly 3 million inhabitants. People have to pay one dollar per hour for the use of internet, which is unaffordable for many people.

The mobile phone internet ban has affected high school and university students who use internet on their smart phones and iPads for their academic research.

Meanwhile, Hormuud Telecom were not available for comments on the ban. However, the company said in a press statement on Saturday that the mobile money transfer system known as the EVC+ was still available for use.

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