Stakeholders in the Telecom industry, met at the Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, to continue the discussion on the framework for national roaming and infrastructure sharing in Nigeria.
In his welcome address, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by The Director, Spectrum Administration, NCC, Engineer Austine Nwaulune, stated that, in furtherance of the Commission’s commitment towards ensuring the continued growth and development of the telecoms industry, it inaugurated an Industry Working Committee in 2017, to work out the procedure and modalities for implementation of the National Roaming and Active Infrastructure Sharing.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that National Roaming has the potential of promoting seamless communication of subscribers, as they will be able to roam on the network of other service providers, where their own service provider is unavailable or has limited network coverage”, he emphasised, while stating he benefits derivable from roaming within the country.
The EVC/CEO also stated that the service providers will also gain from sharing their infrastructure. “The benefits of encouraging active infrastructure sharing can also not be over emphasized. Not only will there be noticeable reduction in network deployment costs, the industry will also witness acceleration in the take-up of broadband services and gradual elimination of the rural-urban digital divide”, he stressed.
Prof Umar Garba Danbatta further stated that, National Roaming and Active Infrastructure Sharing, are two, of the cost saving mechanisms which facilitate the effective utilization of network resources for the provision of telecommunications services, which have been successfully utilized to achieve improved coverage, cost reduction and the efficient utilization of scarce network resources by Regulatory agencies.
“To ensure that these benefits are realised, pertinent issues, such as Quality of Service, Mobile Number Portability, issues of fair competition, billing and reconciliation, appropriate roaming agreements, extent of regulation required and the need to continue to incentivise operators to rollout infrastructure in underpopulated areas, were considered in the articulation of the framework to be presented to stakeholders at this forum”, he concluded.
The forum was attended by top echelon of the regulator of the industry, NCC, stakeholders in the telecom industry and the media.