Somaliland-based telecoms operators Telesom and Somtel have signed an interconnection agreement allowing users of one network to communicate with customers of the other, reports The Somaliland Chronicle. Abdiweli Abdillahi Soufi, Somaliland’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology, commented on the development: ‘The main challenge is the tough competition between the two leading operators in the country. Their competition covers every side in telecoms, like pricing, subsidisation and the infrastructure. By taking those factors into consideration, the Ministry has developed interconnection regulations and a roadmap that will guide the telecom interconnection. Similarly, the Ministry has brought together both telecom operators and has hosted negotiations between the operators to solve issues and start interconnection service. The parties conducted several meetings at the Ministry premises. Therefore, the Ministry is working to enable this service to the Somaliland population soon.’ The agreement, which was signed on 19 February, will come into effect within 40 days.