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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

ITU canvasses infrastructure sharing

Global telecommunications watchdog, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has canvassed for infrastructure sharing among operators to reduce investment drought, according to its latest Trends in Telecommunication Reform Report.

The report also said that if operators explore this, it would lower costs for network rollouts.

The ITU published annual report for 2008 has six degrees of sharing, detailing a set of regulatory strategies designed to lower the costs of network rollout globally, even as it would mark up unparalleled numbers of voice and Internet consumers in both the developing and developed world, due to the result of network growth and expansion.

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU, Mr. Sanjay Acharya, in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, said that this year has also seen an unparalleled global financial crisis which may make it more difficult for investors to obtain financing for continuing network development.

So, he said, sharing strategies, examined in the new ITU report, are seen as conducive for infrastructure development in the telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, particularly in light of the deepening global financial crisis.

“Sharing strategies are increasingly necessary to ensure that operators can deploy their networks at low cost while guaranteeing that consumers have access to affordable services,” he said.

He quoted, the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Mr. Sami Al Basheer, as saying that now, more than ever, sharing strategies make sense as operators are forced to reduce the costs of network deployment as they compete for scarce investment funds. This is a forward-looking perspective in light of the current financial and economic uncertainty.

He stressed that sharing strategies include the sharing of civil engineering costs in deploying networks, promoting open access to network support infrastructure - poles, ducts, conduits; essential facilities comprising submarine cable landing stations and international gateways as well as access to radio-frequency spectrum and end-user devices.

ITRealms Online recollects that “Six Degrees of Sharing” formed the theme of first discussion earlier in the year held in Thailand at the ITU’s 2008 Global Symposium for Regulators. Few observers could then have anticipated the rough ride that would be in store for financial markets a few months down the road.

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