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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Stakeholders push for efficient infrastructure sharing


Industry stakeholders in the nation’s telecommunications sector have pushed for efficiently managed infrastructure sharing in Nigeria.

A round-up of a two-day stakeholders meeting hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Lagos, DigitalSENSE Business News reports, saw every stakeholder who contributed at the event pointing at how to make the infrastructure sharing a successful model, especially drawn from other parts of the world to boost broadband deployment.

The event which was the second annual consultative forum on engineering and emerging technologies organized by the NCC, held with the theme “Spectrum Dependent Infrastructure Sharing in Nigeria: Trends, Issues and Impact,” the participants stressed the need for adequate infrastructure sharing model among players in the industry.

The Executive Vice Chairman,  NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah represented by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Engagement at NCC, Mr. Okechukwu Itanyi, confirmed that part of the regulatory issues that needed to be addressed in order to control the potential of the Nigerian nascent broadband industry was access to infrastructure by the existing and new players.

NCC also advised already licensed operators to make effective use of their licenses, especially in the face of scarce spectrum resources, so as to achieve good projections of the national broadband policy.

Maintaining that active infrastructure sharing was part of the advantages being leveraged in the advanced telecoms markets.

The EVC noted that access to and availability of spectrum resources was a prerequisite to achieving broadband provision.

"Current development in the Nigerian telecommunications industry has created a few vertically integrated players that have built infrastructures that are being leveraged on to compete in the provision of broadband services. These infrastructures and resources are usually only available to new players at a premium as their replication and acquisition of the required resources are both capital intensive and have long lead times for delivery,” Juwah said.

The trend, he said, had resulted in unfavourable pricing of services such as widespread broadband access.

Juwah stated that regulatory intervention in the market was to ensure open and non-discriminatory access by all players to reduce barriers and other challenges.

Juwah said addressing the main barriers of entry in the industry would boost competition, increase innovations by players and also improve penetration of broadband services.

Director Public Policy, Middle East and Africa, GSMA, Mr. Peter Lyons, advised the regulator not to apply force on operators in the implementation of infrastructure sharing.


"The regulator should rather provide a platform for safer competition among the operators," Lyons said.

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Pic: Dr. Juwah of NCC.

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