ARCEP GABON : What can we learn from type approval activities ?

The telecommunications regulator in Gabon equipped itself with an effective regulatory system. This system helps practicing type approval activities more efficiently. The work undertaken by the regulatory board was recognised and appreciated even beyond national borders.

The ‘’Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes’’ (ARCEP) was founded to better regulate Gabonese telecommunications sector. Created by the order n°000008/PR/2012 of the 13th February 2012 and ratified by the law n° 006/2012 of the 13th August 2012, the regulatory agency changes its name and becomes the regulatory authority. The new name brings about new orientations. The Agency’s mission was to ensure compliance with the competition rules in a national context of liberalisation.
From now on, the Authority has many other missions. They include :
•   Ensuring operators’ compliance with provisions included in the licenses, authorizations, approvals, specifications in order to impose sanctions on         offenders
•   Ensuring that operators fulfill formalities for obtaining authorizations or statements linked to their activities in the sector
•   Collecting useful information linked to operators’ activities for regulation
•   Ensuring operators’ compliance with obligations and interdictions linked to the non-transferrable and personal nature of the license and impose sanctions for any infringements .

The order n°000027 sets the type-approval rules of ICT equipment and helps understand the regulator’s particular focus on type approval
practices. Article 3 of the order stipulates that approval concerns any equipment intended to be connected, directly or indirectly, to a network accessible to the public. The article also concerns any network or radio installation intended or not intended to be connected to a network accessible to the public. According to article 8, the approval certificate is granted for a renewable
period of 5 years. Application to renew the certificate shall be submitted at least 4 months before the end of the fifth year provided the device did not undergo any modification. Article 11 of the order stipulates that “any equipment intended for the telecommunications market of Gabon must receive a label from the ARCEP.” This sticker allows a better control of equipment. For attracting more investors, the regulator initiated temporary admission certificate for a period of 3 months (article 18 of the same order). Terminal equipment, telecommunications networks or radio installations are concerned by this certificate. It can also be granted for temporary purposes of demonstration, exhibition and use. However, the application for temporary admission certificate shall be submitted to the Agency 15 days before the expected date of the arrival of the equipment.
The ARCEP has evolved over the last five (5) years from an agency to a regulatory authority. This has shown Gabon’s efforts to better regulate the telecommunications sector. The practice and follow up of approval applications are now appreciated by many ICT stakeholders. All the ICT stakeholders have been able to take advantage of the regulator’s excellent practice of type approval over the years. Our partners are convinced by the techniques initiated by the ARCEP. With the help of Consult IT!, they keep on submitting type approval applications to the regulator. We as Consult IT meets the requirements and comply with the regulation of the regulatory agency, we are now able to direct our partners in their will to invest in the Gabonese telecoms market. In addition, our application for type approval submitted to the ARCEP are processed within 5 weeks. The practice and follow-up of approval applications in Gabon are appreciated by many ICT players. Consult IT! meets the requirements and comply with ARCEP regulation. The company is now able to assist its partners in their projects to invest in the Gabonese telecommunications market. In fact, our application for Type Approval submitted to the ARCEP are processed with five (5) weeks.

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