Updated: Sept. 19, 2012 (Initial publication: Nov. 9, 2010)

Sectorial Analysis

II-2.8 : The Mauritanian Regulatory Authority orders three mobile telephone operators to increase quality of service.

by Lorraine Boris


In a report published on October 26th, 2010, the Autorité de Régulation de la République Islamique de Mauritanie (the Mauritanian Multi-sector Regulatory Authority) orders three mobile telephony operators to enhance quality of service provided in the country. Mauritel SA, Mattel SA and Chinguitel SA all have one month from October 26th, 2010, to comply with their obligations to provide less than 5% of dropped phone calls.



Fiche thématique (Télécommunications): L'Autorité de Régulation mauritanienne ordonne à trois opérateurs de téléphonie mobile d'augmenter leur qualité de service.

Dans un rapport publié le 26 octobre 2010, l'Autorité de Régulation de la République Islamique de Mauritanie ordonne à trois opérateurs d'augmenter la qualité des services délivrée dans le pays. Mauritel SA, Mattel SA et Chinguitel SA disposent d'un mois à partir du 26 octobre 2010 pour se conformer à leur obligation de fournir moins de 5% de perte d'appels téléphoniques.



Thematischer Bericht (Telekom): Die Regulierungsbehörde Mauretanien befehlt, dass drei Mobilfunkanbieter die Dienstqualität verbessern.

In einem Bericht, der am 26. Oktober 2010 veröffentlicht wurde, hat die Autorité de Régulation de la République Islamique de Mauritanie (die multi-sektorielle Regulierungsbehörde der Islamische Republik Mauretanien) befehlt, dass drei Mobilfunkanbieter die Dienstqualität verbessern. Mauritel SA, Mattel SA und Chinguitel SA verfügen über einen Monat ab dem 26. Oktober 2010, um weniger als 5% unterbrochener Anrufe anzubieten.



Informe Temático (Telecom): La Autoridad Regulatoria de Mauritania ordena a tres operadores de teléfonos móviles de incrementar su calidad de servicio.

En un informe publicado el 26 de octubre del 2010, la Autorité de Réglation de l République Islamique de Mauritanie (la Autoridad regulatoria multi-sector de Mauritania) ordena a tres operadoras de teléfonos móviles de realzar la calidad del servicio proveído en el país. Se les ha dado un mes comenzando el 26 de octubre del 2010 tanto a Mauritel SA, Mattel SA  como Chinguitel SA para llenar los requisitos y cumplir con las obligaciones de proveer menos del 5% de llamadas cortadas.








20101026日所公布的报告当中,Autorité de Régulation de la République Islamique de Mauritanie(毛里塔尼亚伊斯兰共和国跨部门监管机构)勒令该国三家移动电信运营商改善其国内电信服务质量。自20101026日起,Mauritel SA, Mattel SA and Chinguitel SA三家公司要在一个月期限之内将其通话掉线率控制在5%以内。

Context and Summary

The Regulation Authority of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a multi-sector in charge of regulating telecommunications, post, electricity and water markets. It has been implemented in 2001 by the 2001-18 Act of January 25th, 2001, on the Multi-sector-specific Regulation Authority. This authority is an independent legal entity created by public law. It has financial and managerial autonomy. The authority depends of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic. It is divided between a National Council of Regulation, composed of 5 members, which the sanction commission of the Authority and benefits from the widest powers to investigate and orientate the activity of the authority, and several divisions, all dedicated to one particular sector. Three of the Members of the National Council of Regulation are named by the President of the Republic, one by the President of the Senate and one by the President of Parliament, all for a four years mandate.
One of the tasks of the Authority of Regulation in the Telecommunication sector is to supervise the proper application of the requirements, which the telecommunications' operators must fulfil in exchange with the use of telecommunication frequencies. Three operators trust the local market: Mauritel SA, Mattel SA and Chinguitel SA. In 2008, the penetration rate of mobile telecommunications was of 67% in the country, whereas only 2,5% of the population had a fix telephone line. The Authority of Regulation often proceeds to inquiries in order to ensure that the requirements (quality of network coverage, quality of communications from town to town, etc.) are respected.
In March 2008, those three operators already had to pay several fines to the Public Treasury due to a lack of implementation of certain requirements. Those fines were comprised between 12 million Ouguiyas (48.000 USD) and 103 million Ouguiyas (400.000 USD).
One year later, the three operators were again found guilty of not fulfilling their obligation and two of them, Mauritel SA and Chinguitel SA, were ordered to comply with their obligation for providing under 5% for the rate of phone call loss.
So, on October 26th, 2010, the Authority of Regulation again proceeded to an inquiry, which again concluded that the three operators did not provide sufficient reliability of phone calls across the territory. Again, they all have a month to comply and react to this order.

It remains unsure what the outcome of the order will be, since the Authority itself is granted with the power to condemn the operator, which did not comply with the order according to the sector-specific texts concerned. It seems mostly that the privileged sanction is pecuniary.

Brief commentary

This order illustrates how precarious the equilibrium between a Regulation Authority and the sector might be. Indeed, between 2005 and 2010, the Regulation Authority has pronounced 14 sanctions against these operators. One can wonder to what extent such sanctions are efficient, for it seems -- according to the annual reports of the agency -- that the quality of national telecommunications has increased over the past 5 years. However, the recurrence of non-compliance with requirements, and the ongoing major problem of dropped calls could be due to a lack of means or a lack of will to comply. Thus, the question of regulatory effectiveness is raised.

One should note that the 2001 Act provides the Authority with financial independence, and provides that the sanctions imposed by the Authority will in any be case be paid to the Public Treasury, which ensures that the Authority is not financially motivated in its issuance of penalties. Yet, it is difficult to assess the true extent Authority of Regulation’s intervention or effectiveness. Yet, the upside of the regular investigations performed by the Authority of Regulation is that it seeks to hold the operators to a standard, even by resorting to coercive measures, in order to enhance the quality of network coverage in the country.

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