Niger plans to strike a free-roaming agreement with Togo

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  • Niger and Togo plan to sign a partnership agreement for bilateral free-roaming, which will allow both countries to use electronic communications services when travelling to or from one of the two countries. 
  • This comes as other countries, including Mali and Benin, have signed free roaming agreements with Togo, with Niger now joining the list.

In October 2023, Benin and Togo signed an agreement (MoU) to allow free international mobile network roaming between the two countries under ECOWAS regulations. The agreement was set to begin in January 2024.

Besides, Benin has agreed to establish free roaming with Ghana to reduce communication costs for travellers beginning July 1, 2024.

Following that, in November 2023, Ghana”s National Communications Authority and Togo’s electronic communications authority agreed to provide bilateral roaming services under the ECOWAS “free” roaming regulations. The agreement was said to be implemented in March 2024.

Togo and Mali also agreed to a free-roaming partnership in December 2023, signed last week by the two countries’ telecom authorities. Per this agreement, cell phone users travelling in both countries will receive free calls for the first 30 days of their stay.

Furthermore, Togo has established a similar partnership with Côte d’Ivoire, and more countries are expected to join the list.

For Niger, the mission allowed delegates to learn more about Togo’s telecom regulation techniques, such as the data-driven regulation method implemented through the deployment of digital platforms and certification processes. 

These collaborations come after the Executive Secretary of the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA), Aliyu Yusuf Aboki, confirmed in May 2023 that 13 ECOWAS member states have amended their telecom legislation to eliminate roaming surcharges. 

This Executive Secretary stated that the move will help strengthen cross-border trade and economic activities while avoiding connectivity and data access challenges. 

“When traders arrive in any country in West Africa, they can continue using their phones to do business- check prices, communicate with staff, suppliers, partners, etc- without bothering about higher costs,” he said.

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Meanwhile, in 2016, the West African Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (WATRA) announced that telephone users in West African countries would no longer have to pay high roaming costs.