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Tuesday, July 06, 2021

NCC improves guidelines on co-location, infrastructure sharing – ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

As part of the efforts at improving connectivity in the telecom industry in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission has issued new guidelines on co-location and infrastructure sharing, reports ITREALMS.
This, NCC informed ITREALMS would ensure that unnecessary duplication of infrastructure is drastically reduced if not completely avoidable.
NCC in latest guidelines on co-location and infrastructure sharing, available to ITREALMS revealed that the status which is subjected to Telecommunication Act revolved around networks interconnection regulations, competition practices regulations, Quality of Service (QoS) regulations, other laws, rules and subsidiary legislations that may be developed by the Commission from time to time and relevant Licence conditions.

The primary objective of these latest guidelines, ITREALMS gathered, is to establish a framework within which Access Providers and Access Seekers to enable them negotiate C/IS arrangements, and for that purpose.

Specifically, NCC indicated in the 31-page guideline is to ensure that the incidence of unnecessary duplication of infrastructure is minimised or completely avoided; Protect the environment by reducing the proliferation of infrastructure and facilities installations; Promote fair competition through equal access being granted to the installations and facilities of operators on mutually agreed terms; Ensure that the economic advantages derivable from the sharing of facilities are harnessed for the overall benefit of all telecommunications stakeholders; Minimise capital expenditure on supporting infrastructures and to free more funds for investment in core network equipment.

In addition, the guidelines would encourage Access Providers and Access Seekers to pursue a cost-oriented policy with the added effect of a reduction in the tariffs chargeable to consumers.

NCC also said that Infrastructure Amenable to Sharing include those that could be shared without an attendant risk of lessening of competition. Stressing that it shall encourage and promote the sharing of passive infrastructure.

These, NCC listed to include “Rights of Way, Masts, Poles, Antenna mast and tower structures, ducts, trenches, space in buildings, electric power (public or private source), and

Also outlined in this regards are some active infrastructure, namely complete network structures, switching centers, frequencies, radio network controllers, and base stations.

ITREALMS recalls that NCC has responsibility under the Act to promote fair competition in the communications industry, encourage and support infrastructure sharing among its licensees. In addition to development of guidelines for Co-location and Infrastructure Sharing (C/IS).

These guidelines, ITREALMS gathered proceed from a premise that all “Access Providers and Access Seekers” have the liberty to negotiate Co-location and infrastructure sharing arrangements in accordance with mutually agreed terms.

Just as the guidelines were designed and developed to encourage C/IS between Access Providers and Access Seekers within a predetermined framework to remove uncertainty and create an environment for better co-operation.

Accordingly, ITREALMS reports that these guidelines explained the Commission’s role in achieving the most efficient use of facilities amenable to sharing, thereby setting out the processes for implementing Active Infrastructure Sharing amongst Network Service Providers licensed by NCC.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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