Senegal: ARTP ends monopoly of telecom operators over USSD codes

The Telecommunications and Post Regulatory Authority (Artp) of Senegal made the liberalization of access to USSD codes (unstructured supplementary service data) available to all service providers value-added telecoms. The codes, which are real-time command messages sent to the network in the form # XXX #, were hitherto monopolized by the mobile operators.

The USSD codes, presented as numbering resources that provide access to telecommunications services, will be subject to a new allocation procedure. The goal is to increase competition and innovation, said Abdou Karim Sall (pictured), the director general of ARTP who explained that this liberalization of access to USSD codes is in line with the “desire to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which recommends that all operators make USSD codes accessible to those who are not mobile operators “.

According to the Telecommunications and Post Office Regulatory Authority, the open access of all telecom service providers to USSD codes is the result of consultation with all the players in the sector, with the aim of promoting innovation, lower prices for services, respect for the principle of non-discrimination and alignment of regulatory practices with the best international standards. Abdou Karim Sall emphasized that “Senegal is the first country in French-speaking Africa to lift this competitive barrier”.

Source: Agence Ecofin