Mauritania's telecom companies Mattel, Mauritel, and Chinguitel have been directed by the Regulatory Authority (ARE) to introduce national roaming in all regions where only one of them currently provides coverage. This directive is to be carried out before December 31st.

National roaming, as defined by the regulator, involves the sharing of active infrastructures. It allows subscribers of one mobile network operator to utilize the network and services offered by another operator in areas not covered by their own network. This encompasses voice calls, SMS, internet access, as well as USSD services like balance inquiries and prepaid top-ups.

The regulatory decision reflects ARE's commitment to expedite the expansion of mobile telecom services to keep up with the continuously increasing demand from users. This action stems from a quality assessment of voice and data services conducted by ARE between August 1st and September 7th. The findings revealed shortcomings in meeting some of the commitments specified in the operators' agreements across 47 cities and localities, and 11 major roadways.

Once implemented, national roaming is expected to invigorate competition among telecom operators, ensuring consumers receive enhanced services at reduced costs. Additionally, this initiative is poised to extend services to thousands of people. According to the latest data from ARE, mobile services have a penetration rate of 153% in Mauritania, in contrast to 76% for internet services.

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