National roaming will end rural-urban digital divide — NCC


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Wednesday said that national roaming and active Infrastructure Sharing in Nigeria would end rural-urban digital divide.

The NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made this known at a stakeholders’ forum on “Development of Framework for National Roaming and Active Infrastructure Sharing in Nigeria’’ held at Digital Bridge Institute, Lagos.

Danbatta, represented by the Director, Spectrum Administration, Engr. Austin Nwaulunne said that national roaming had the potential of promoting seamless communication of subscribers.

According to him, subscribers will be able to roam on the network of other service providers where their own service provider is unavailable or has limited network coverage.

“The benefits of encouraging active infrastructure sharing can also not be over emphasised.

“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.’’

Danbatta said that NCC was committed toward ensuring the continued growth and development of the telecoms industry.

He said the industry in 2017 inaugurated an Industry Working Committee (IWC) to work out the procedure and modalities for implementing National Roaming and Active Infrastructure Sharing.

“The past few years have seen the trajectory of the global telecommunications industry shift toward the implementation of cost-saving mechanisms which facilitate the effective utilisation of network resources for the provision of telecommunications services.

“National Roaming and Active Infrastructure Sharing are two of such initiatives which have been successfully utilised to achieve improved coverage, cost reduction and the efficient utilisation 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 the need to continue to incentivise operators.

“To rollout infrastructure in under populated areas which were also considered in the articulation of the framework,’’ he said. (NAN)


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